Thursday, December 4, 2008

Herald Sun - "Gay and Single Women Win Right to Fertility Treatment" - by Nick Higginbottom

GAY and single women can have babies with fertility treatment after controversial legislation passed State Parliament.

Upper House MPs voted 20 to 18 in favour of the amended legislation at 8.30pm. The result was greeted with uproarious applause and cheers from dozens of mothers with children in the public gallery.

The amendments to the legislation then passed the Lower House just after 11pm.

Divisive elements of the Bill - that force women accessing IVF treatment to undergo police checks - were retained, despite outspoken doctors and a former judge having condemned them.

The Government was forced to introduce amendments regarding surrogacy and identity matters yesterday to curry favour with some MPs who were wavering in their support for the Bill.

Parliamentary Secretary for Justice and Labor MP Brian Tee introduced three amendments and said the Bill was all about the rights of the child.

"That's why it's a great result,'' he said.

Attorney-General Rob Hulls, who announced the legislation last December, said it was ground-breaking reform.

"It's long overdue, it modernises our laws and it ends discrimination against people who haven't been able to get access to ART (assisted reproductive technology),'' he said.

Amendments to the Bill mean:

A WOMAN who uses IVF to become a surrogate mother cannot do so for her first child, nor can she use her own eggs.

THERE will be increased counselling, particularly if something goes wrong.

A CHILD will have "donor conceived'' marked next to its name on the birth register, but not on its birth certificate

[Link: Original Article ]

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