In no particular order…
“The problem with the Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience.”
“If half the effort were put into discouraging teenage promiscuity as goes into preventing teenage speeding, there might be fewer abortions, fewer traumatised young women and fewer dysfunctional families.”
“Why isn’t the fact that 100,000 women choose to end their pregnancies regarded as a national tragedy approaching the scale, say, of Aboriginal life expectancy being 20 years less than that of the general community?”
– From an address to the Adelaide University Democratic Club, 17 March 2004.
“Since 1996, contrary to poltical correctness, the Australian parliament has overturned right-to-kill laws and (almost) banned gay marriage. Perhaps a political constituency may even be starting to emerge to ban abortions after 20 weeks. “
- From a speech delivered at the CIS Consilium in Queensland, July 31 2004.
“The problem is backyard miscarriages if unscrupulous doctors prescribe these drugs for desperate women. “
“If an application did come to me, I would have to satisfy myself that compelent doctors would administer the drug in safe circumstances to women who had fully considered the alternatives and understood the risks”
– On RU486, 6 February 2006.
“Even if dispossession is taken to mean that government has a higher responsibility to Aborigines than to other Australians, the production of beautiful art and connectedness to the land does not warrant the maintenance of a way of life also characterised by unemployment, substance abuse and domestic violence. If people choose to live in difficult to service places, that’s their business.”
– From an article published in The Australian, 27 June 2008.
“I know Bernie is very sick, but just because a person is sick doesn’t mean that he is necessarily pure of heart in all things.”
– Said to Channel 9 reporter about asbestos sufferer and social justice campaigner Bernie Banton, October 2007.
“…we just can’t stop people from being homeless if that’s their choice…”
– Said to a Catholic social services conference, February 2010.
“I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons”
– Quote from an undergraduate piece he wrote on feminism, featured in this GetUp ad that also highlights other quotes.
TONY JONES: So are you making a case against teaching in indigenous languages? Is that what – I’m trying to get on top of the point you’re making.
TONY ABBOTT: Well, I am making that case.
– From Q&A, 27 August 2009.
“You don’t have to be a Catholic to be troubled by the current abortion culture”
– From Sunday Profile, 12 June 2005.
“…Jesus didn’t say yes to everyone. I mean Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it is not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.”
“Now, I know that there are some Aboriginal people who aren’t happy with Australia Day. For them it remains Invasion Day. I think a better view is the view of Noel Pearson, who has said that Aboriginal people have much to celebrate in this country’s British Heritage”
– From Q&A, 5 April 2010.
“The Government accepts that some 14 and 15-year-olds might prefer that their parents not know about the medical procedures they have had or the prescription drugs they are on. But children should not be presumed to be the best judges of their own long-term interests and should not have the right to go behind their parents’ backs… The real issue here is whether 14 and 15-year-olds can make informed decisions about what is right and wrong for them. And if they don’t have that capacity, should they be allowed to operate in a moral and ethical vacuum?”
– On Howard legislation giving parents access data about government benefits provided to their teenagers (for example, young women’s Medicare claims related to contraceptive advice), June 2004.
“The point I make in the book is that a society… is surely capable of providing additional recognition to what might be thought of as traditional marriage…. Something akin to a Matrimonial Causes Act marriage ought to be an option for people who would like it.”
– On the reintroduction of at fault-divorce, July 2009.
On queer people being members of a Catholic congregation:
“…if you’d asked me for advice I would have said to have – adopt a sort of “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about all of these things…”
On aid to the ‘third world’ funding abortions:
“I just think that surely there are higher priorities for Australia than funding things like that.”
On whether a national celibacy campaign would be helpful to counter the rise in teen sexual activity, sexual infections and pregnancies:
“I think that it’s very important that we empower people to reject this kind of rampant sensuality.”
– From Q&A, 19 March 2009.
“It’s the responsibility of government to try to put policies in place which over time will allow people to improve their situation. But we can’t abolish poverty because poverty in part is a function of individual behaviour.
We can’t stop people drinking; we can’t stop people gambling; we can’t stop people having substance problems; we can’t stop people from making mistakes that cause them to be less well-off than they might otherwise be. “
“Western civilisation came to this country in 1788 and I’m proud of that…”
– From Four Corners, 15 March 2010
LIZ HAYES: Homosexuality? How do you feel about that?
TONY ABBOTT: I’d probably I feel a bit threatened…
“I’d always been against the death penalty but that contemplating the enormity of certain sort of crimes I sometimes thought that some crimes were so hideous that if the punishment were to fit maybe we were left with no alternative but the death penalty.”
– From an interview on 60 minutes, March 2010
LEIGH SALES: What was “threatened” referring to?
TONY ABBOTT: Well, there is no doubt that it challenges, if you like, orthodox notions of the right order of things…
– From an interview on Lateline, March 2010
Mr Speaker, we have a bizarre double standard; a bizarre double standard in this country where some-one who kills a pregnant woman’s baby is guilty of murder, but a woman who aborts an unborn baby is simply exercising choice.
– In Parliament (pdf), 15 Feb 2006.
Racism used to be offered as the complete explanation for Aboriginal poverty, alienation and early death. Racism hasn’t disappeared. Still, if racism caused poverty, why hasn’t poverty declined as racism diminished.
– From a paper presented to The Bennelong Society (pdf), September 2004.
“What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up, every year….”
– Previously covered here at TDC, March 2010.
” I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak”
– From Q&A, 19 March 2009.