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Wednesday, 5 December 1973
Page: 4285

Mr JAMES (HUNTER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the Minister for Health noted widespread comment in support of cheap, even free, and easily accessible vasectomy operations for men? Is he concerned that in the event of such a development promiscuity may be encouraged among young men? In such an event, has he any proposals for the preservation of the virtue and moral rectitude of the young men of our society?

Dr EVERINGHAM (CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Health) - I believe that the good book, from which the honourable member frequently quotes in this place, says that he who looks after a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his own heart, so I do not really hold much hope for improving the morals of people by making another method of birth control more freely available than in the past. In fact I see no possible impact on moral rectitude one way or the other. However, I would point out that vasectomy is not performed by responsible doctors in any State of this country unless they are satisfied that it is the best solution possible to the patient's problem, and it would be extremely unlikely that a young man who

Mr SPEAKER -I ask the Minister not to keep looking at me all the time.

Dr EVERINGHAM - I assure you, Sir, I meant no reflection on your age. It would be very unusual for a young man who, in a doctor's opinion, may want to have a family in years to come, to resort to this method of birth control. There are other methods almost equally effective, far cheaper and more easily available.

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