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Bioethics    COMMONWEALTH TO OVERRULE VICTORIAN IVF DECISION
The federal government will attempt to overrule a Federal Court ruling allowing single women access to the state's in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) program, Prime Minister John Howard announced yesterday.
    In a move strongly condemned by Melbourne's Archbishop George Pell, the court on Friday ruled that Victorian IVF laws banning single women from treatment were inconsistent with federal sex discrimination legislation.
    But Mr Howard said cabinet decided yesterday that it was never the intention of the federal laws to ban such laws.
    "This issue involves overwhelmingly in the opinion of the government the right of children in our society to have the reasonable expectation, other things being equal, of the affection and care of both a mother and a father," Mr Howard told reporters.
    "And in those circumstances, we believe states have the right to legislate to that effect and as a result we propose an amendment to the Sex Discrimination Act to make it plain that legislation similar to the legislation enacted by the state of Victoria would not be struck down by the Sex Discrimination Act."
    AAP
   
2/8/00



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