Barnaby’s noblest moment exposed
ONE of life's certainties is the longer we live, the more mistakes we are going to make. Just ask Barnaby Joyce, the accident-prone political larrikin from the bush with a habit of shooting from the mouth rather than the hip.
Joyce and his media adviser Vikki Campion overstepped the mark when they decided to mix their personal and working lives, resulting in the breakdown of Joyce's marriage and an unexpected pregnancy.
Morally and ethically, their choice was wrong and has hurt many people along the way, especially Joyce's wife and family. Both have to live with the consequences of their actions.
But if there is a silver lining in this very public affair, it's that this couple have taken responsibility for their actions in deciding to devote their love and energy to bringing up their newborn son, Sebastian.
As Campion revealed in the couple's tell-all TV interview last night, the couple came under considerable pressure to abort their child when news leaked that she was pregnant.
To their credit, they didn't buckle to the pressure, and decided to proceed with the birth.
An unexpected pregnancy is a dilemma couples around Australia face every day.
Unfortunately, society usually unfairly loads the decision-making in such circumstances solely on the woman, who is often feeling isolated and unloved.
But biologically, every pregnancy is a threesome. Even though the woman is carrying the child, this new life is the product of both the mother and the father, and both should be involved in deciding their offspring's future.
However, let's not forget the other party in this situation - and the most important one - is the child, who has no voice.
We are bombarded by appeals for "equal rights" for every type of group in today's society. Why shouldn't we protect the unborn child's most basic right to live?
Several years ago, I had the rare privilege to attend a retreat for women (and men) who had been affected by abortion.
The brave mothers who took part in this emotion-filled weekend broke down in tears as they revealed how they had carried the scars and guilt of their decision to abort, in many cases for decades, having realised they had sacrificed a part of themselves and a human life.
Many spoke of being coerced to terminate a pregnancy by their parents, friends or other interested parties to avoid religious or societal ostracism or because they were told they were not ready for a child.
Sceptics of Joyce and Campion's revelation that they had been pressured to abort their child should listen to women who have been in such a situation.
Another revelation from the retreat was the hurt felt by fathers who had not been given a say in whether their unborn child would live or die.
Anyone who says dealing with an unwanted pregnancy is as easy as "getting rid of it" is heartless and cruel. Every situation is different, but women, in particular, need the emotional and material support to understand what they are about to do.
We are all human and we make mistakes, but it's how we take responsibility for our actions that reveals our true mettle.
Joyce and Campion have selflessly put their careers on the line to ensure their son, Seb, has the best possible future under the circumstances.
We should all give them a chance.