April 12, 2024

Lesbians and single women to have IVF in Victoria

“Socially infertile” women in the Australian state of Victoria would be allowed to have IVF children if a law reform commission’s recommendations are adopted. This would apply to single women and lesbians who are currently excluded under the provisions of the current act which allows only “medically infertile” women to have IVF. Other proposed changes include allowing women to use the sperm of deceased partners and allowing parents to create “saviour siblings” through IVF to help a sick child.

Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott pounced on the proposals and attacked the wisdom of expert committees which dismiss traditional values, “especially if their reports are couched in emotive language designed to intimidate the public”. He also urged the Australian Health Ethics Committee to publish an annual report on its most difficult decisions. “We don’t need sanitised versions of the good medical research might do, but any gory details of what might have to be done in order to bring about such good,” he said.