Nationals MP and anti-abortion advocate Barnaby Joyce has falsely claimed Sydney pro-choice activists chanted “throw the foetus in the bin” at a Saturday protest, echoing a disputed 7 News report on the demonstration.

Speaking on Sunrise this morning, Joyce alleged demonstrators chanted “we will fight, we will win, throw the foetus in the bin” during the demonstration.

His claim comes after a 7 News piece subtitled footage of the chants as “put the foetus in the bin,” despite the chants being clearly audible as “put the bigots in the bin” in the network’s own broadcast.

The false subtitles originally appeared in a Twitter video published by anti-abortion group LifeChoice Australia.

Sinead Canning, Campaign Manager for the NSW Pro-Choice Alliance, told PEDESTRIAN.TV the accusation was “completely false.

“We know a number of women that were part of that small group were chanting ‘put the bigots in the bin’, and to be honest, they’re devastated that what they were saying has been misconstrued.”

Canning said the NSW Pro-Choice Alliance, which helped organised the Saturday protest, has received messages from demonstrators deeply concerned about the misinterpretation.

“I’ve had teenage girls on the phone to me crying last night because they think that they’ve hurt the movement in some way, because some journalists and some anti-choice organisations have put up false videos and false subtitles to support such a claim.

“It’s made me pretty incensed.”

Joyce today told Sunrise the pro-choice protest movement “just feels evil.

“It feels like we’ve got to do something to temper this because it’s so vitally important that, first of all, the population that has concerns for this is respected.”

Joyce’s appearance on Sunrise comes as the NSW Upper House prepares to debate a bill which would decriminalise abortion, bringing NSW into line with every other state in the nation.

Canning said stripping abortion from the Crimes Act will help those from linguistically diverse and lower socio-economic backgrounds access the procedure in a safe environment.

However, Joyce and other anti-choice activists want to see amendments limiting access to late-term abortions and expressly prohibiting the practice of gender selection – which a recent inquiry found is not a realistic concern in Australia. 

Joyce yesterday claimed the bill doesn’t have much to do with decriminalisation at all, likening the proposed amendments to “the slavery debate of our time.”

For the record, neither hearing checks or neuropsychological assessments are listed on the NSW Crimes Act, making it easy for certain commentators to get a once-over before making falsifiable claims.

Image: James Gourley / AAP Image