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Australian Politician’s Partner Says Party Urged Abortion

During the interview, Mr. Joyce took aim at his political colleagues for their behavior.

“Look, I’ll be really frank: I don’t believe in abortion,” said Mr. Joyce, who described those behind the pressure on Ms. Campion as “absolute scum of the earth people.”

The National Party’s leader, Michael McCormack, who replaced Mr. Joyce in his role, said on Monday that he had known nothing of the allegations, and defended his colleagues.

Australian Politician’s Partner Says Party Urged Abortion
Australian Politician’s Partner Says Party Urged Abortion

“They are the finest people in regional Australia and I’m proud to serve with each and every one of them,” he added. The National Party is a partner in Mr. Turnbull’s coalition government.

The program had already attracted controversy before its airing, after it was reported that Channel 7 paid Ms. Campion and Mr. Joyce 150,000 Australian dollars for the interview, or about $114,000.

Mr. Joyce is still a sitting member of Parliament, raising further questions about the country’s sometimes cozy relationship between journalistic outlets and the politicians they hold to account.

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