The chairman of the Australian Catholic Bishops Committee for the Family and for Life, Archbishop Leonard Faulkner of Adelaide, has urged the Senate to support legislation affirming states' rights to decide whether single women should be given access to IVF services.
    Archbishop Faulkner said the Catholic Church was "very concerned and disappointed" at a recent Federal Court decision that single women had a right to IVF and artificial insemination. The McBain v Victoria and Ors case effectively overrides Victorian legislation requiring a woman to be married or living in a de facto relationship before receiving IVF treatment. The Howard Government responded almost immediately by introducing legislation that would protect the right of each state to determine who is able to enter IVF programs.
    Adelaide bioethicist Fr John Fleming supported the view of the archbishop, recalling that the Australian Government had "signed on the dotted line" for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
    "The convention is clear - a child has a right to be conceived and born of his own natural parents and to be brought up by them," Fr Fleming said. "What's been proposed by (the Federal Court) is that some children will never have access to their father, and this attacks the identity of the child."
Southern Cross
1 Sep 00

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