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Bioethics    FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AT STAKE FOLLOWING COURT RULING - PELL
The Australian Catholic bishops believe a legal judgment handed down on Friday will impact on all future government legislation concerning family, marriage and the rights of the child.
    The Federal Court decision allows single women access to Victoria's in-vitro fertilisation program. The case of Ms Lisa Meldrum was taken to the Federal Court by her IVF specialist, Dr John McBain, who argued that Victorian IVF laws banning single women from treatment were inconsistent with Federal sex-discrimination legislation.
    "The Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference has grave concerns for families, marriage and children following this decision," said Dr George Pell, Archbishop of Melbourne. "Is 'the family' any longer recognised and protected in law as the 'fundamental unit of society'?"
    "This ruling also raises questions concerning the rights of children under Australian domestic law and under international law to which Australia is a signatory," said Archbishop George Pell.
    The Catholic Church put forward a set of arguments as a 'friend of the court'.
    "The Church has a long-standing history of advocacy for marriage and family. The Church also provides a range of services to all members of society, with special regard to protecting and nurturing the family and children," said Archbishop George Pell. "We will continue to do so."
    ACBC
   
31 July 00



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