27 Mar 2020

    Another Liberal Staffer Shared A Meme About The Coronavirus Saving Lives If It Takes Out Planned Parenthood

    "If COVID-19 forces Planned Parenthood to be closed for two weeks, the virus will have SAVED more lives than it has taken," the meme reads.

    Dan Himbrechts / AAP

    David Elliott.

    The journalists at BuzzFeed News are proud to bring you trustworthy and relevant reporting about the coronavirus. To help keep this news free, become a member and sign up for our newsletter, Outbreak Today.


    An advisor to New South Wales police minister David Elliott who shared an anti-abortion meme on Facebook trivialising deaths from the new coronavirus has kept his job, while a second Liberal staffer who shared the same meme last week resigned.

    "The minister certainly does not endorse the sentiment in the social media post," a spokesperson for Elliott told BuzzFeed News.

    The meme said that if reproductive healthcare provider Planned Parenthood had to shut for a fortnight due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, then the disease will have saved more lives than it has taken. Tens of thousands of people have died so far during the global pandemic.

    BuzzFeed News understands Elliott's senior policy advisor Tom Watson posted and quickly deleted the meme last Thursday morning, and the minister spoke to him to say that posts of this nature were inappropriate.

    David Lau, who was employed as an electorate officer to Victorian senator Sarah Henderson last week resigned after sharing the same meme.

    Supplied

    “Is it any wonder we struggle to attract decent people to the party — let alone women — when we have so-called moderate senators who employ people with these views?” a senior Liberal source told The Herald Sun after Lau's resignation last week.

    Senator Henderson said in a statement that Lau's behaviour was "clearly unacceptable".

    "The staff member concerned understands the mistake he has made and has resigned," she said.

    BuzzFeed News has contacted Watson for comment.


    Gina Rushton is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

    Contact Gina Rushton at gina.rushton@buzzfeed.com.

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here