But I have to admit I'd missed the article by Mr Abbott himself in this disgraceful campaign (thanks to the reader who pointed it out) in which he attempts to offer, as reader PM notes, the JFK defense that it isn't up to Government to make moral decisions for people!
The only problem is that this defense, which effectively sees an absolute divide between Church and State, rather than our faith informing what we do in the public square, is that it is completely counter to the teachings of the Catholic faith.
As Archbishop Chaput put it, the principles articulated in President Kennedy's famous Houston speech were “sincere, compelling, articulate—and wrong.” Like many others I suspect, I'm rather less convinced of the first three descriptors in the current case. But for those who want to give him the benefit of the doubt, consider what Mr Abbott actually said.
The JFK defense
Mr Abbott seems to think that governing is some morally neutral technocratic process that doesn't actually involve making moral choices - like say making laws that prohibit murder, and refuse to support it through taxpayer funding. He claims that:
"A minister's job is to implement the policy of the government and to administer departmental programs. It is not to make moral decisions for people. Governments should do what's best based on expert advice and keep prudent control over expenditure, as taxpayer dollars are not inexhaustible, but otherwise leave people to decide what's right for them.
And he then rejects any credit for his record when in Government:
"Contrary to myth, as health minister I never sought to restrict access to the morning-after pill, never sought to prevent the importation of RU486 and never sought to limit access to abortion."
In fact Mr Abbott then goes on to note that he even defended the use of taxpayer funding for IVF for older women! So how is directing my hard earned contributions to indulging the consumerist attitude to children not a moral decision exactly?
IVF is an attack on women as well as murder
One of the saddest aspects of this shameless campaign for power is Mr Abbott's failure to recognise that IVF is actually an assault on women. He comments in relation to his Chief of Staff, Peta Credlin's experience:
"I had some inkling of what IVF involved but hadn't really grasped the multitude of appointments, tests and, above all, injections: big needles, small needles, this drug, that drug. Then there was the roller coaster of raised and dashed hopes, month after month."
So why go through all of this?
Well, because many have this secularist notion that we can control every aspect of our bodies, even down to fertility.
We live in a society where people feel they are 'entitled' to a child, and for the Government to help them obtain one, no matter the circumstances. Yet a society that is also prepared to murder its unborn rather than allow infertile couples to adopt.
And where most of the true cost of all this pressure to be 'perfect', even down to the shape of our genitals, is borne by women.
Which is worst, the Liberals or Labor?
A few people yesterday suggested that Abbott's comments may be disappointing but Labor are, on balance worse on this front, because they are led by an atheist.
I'm not a Gillard/Labor fan any longer (I can't forgive them for reopening Nauru inter alia) but I can't say that this argument seems to hold much water on the face of it.
For all their failings (most of which can be attributed to the legacy of Rudd), at least Labor do actually recognise that funding and other decisions actually do reflect our moral choices, and at least occasionally try to do the right thing, for example in moving forward on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and reform of welfare to discourage the rort that was the Sole Parent Pension. Moreover, they've actually done a good job in managing the economy (thank goodness they've finally ditched that silly no deficit ever rhetoric) in a difficult international environment.
By contrast, the Opposition have consistently shown over the last two years that they reject the very foundations of our Constitution, through their rejection of the idea that legitimacy of Government depends on controlling the House of Representatives.
A judge found that assorted Queensland Liberals, led by the inimitable Mal Brough have actually attempted to pervert the justice system in a bid to oust the Speaker of the House.
They've adopted a 'just say no' attitude to all proposals, good and bad.
And they've made clear that their only moral compass is what will get them votes.
It is now absolutely clear that neither side is going to do anything positive on life issues unless we, the people, and can pressure them into doing so.
And since most of the time these issues are the subject of 'conscience' votes, we probably have to give a lot of weight to individual candidate views rather than worrying about which party we vote for.
Because at the party level, it's pretty much Hobson's choice as far as I can see...
PS A reader tells me that Mr Abbott is resident in the diocese of Broken Bay rather than Sydney, so no chance of his own bishop speaking up I guess (only nine months to go, though, before Bishop Walker turns 75!).
Still, that wouldn't normally stop the Cardinal speaking out on a matter of politics...