Tony Abbott’s former girlfriend Kathy Donnelly’s tearful interview on Channel Nine’s A Current Affair last night provided even more fodder for today’s papers to chew over.
The Herald Sun’sAndrew Bolt
diagnoses the issue as the “dangers of sin”. Bolt likens the situation
to a “biblical morality play”, noting that “freedom like this has sure
been fun… but there was a reason why many religions and cultures made
pre-marital sex taboo”, and concludes:
I know, the old moral codes weren’t painless
either. But there’s only one thing to say about a grim sermon on saving
sex for marriage – it’s sure cheaper then any paternity test, and a lot
less shaming besides.
Over at The Australian, former lawyer Janet Albrechtesen
uses the Abbott affair to cast her legal eye over other lower profile
paternity cases which “slide under the radar”. She cites the case of
Liam Magill, the man who took his wife to court seeking damages for
“paternity fraud”. Albrechtesen says “by denying men the right to know
and by not penalising the mother for deceit, we end up giving women the
right to deceive.” And she says the next logical step will to be to
convince courts “to hold women accountable for deceit over paternity”.
Former Commonwealth attorney-general Michael Lavarch also takes a legal approach to the subject in The Courier-Mail.
With a Bill before federal parliament to allow the recovery of
maintenance paid by a person found not to be a child’s parent, Lavarch
says, the Abbott case “reminds us once again that the first rule in the
breakdown of major relationships is that people get hurt. The second
rule is that no law, court or politician can ever change rule one.”
Meanwhile, it’s left to the tabloids to ask the serious questions. Like – who’s to blame for this saga? The truth is, says The Daily Telegrapheditorial,
“It would be wrong to “blame” anyone. “Unplanned pregnancies are not
new, nor uncommon, and only the unwise will pass judgment in matters of
unexpected paternity.” But another truth is “inescapable,” says the
paper in a swipe across the bows of its favourite son Tony Abbott – “it
would be much the better if such pregnancies did not occur at all – and
in this technological age, there is no reason why they should.”
has a bet each way, observing that “while the deliberate duping of men
is to be condemned, sometimes honest mistakes are made,” before
concluding that these are “complex questions” and that legislators
should avoid “narrow and prescriptive answers”.