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Democrats welcome High Court's IVF decision.

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Senator Brian Greig Australian Democrats Spokesperson for Law and Justice

18 April 2002 MEDIA RELEASE 02/184

Democrats welcome High Court’s IVF Decision Today’s High Court ruling to dismiss an application by the Catholic Church to prevent single women and lesbian couples from accessing IVF treatment is a rebuke to the Prime Minister and an embarrassment to the Attorney General.

In welcoming the decision, the Australian Democrats today described the ruling as “sensible”, saying that it upheld the integrity of the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act and ensured that secular laws were not contaminated by religious ideology.

Democrats’ Law and Justice spokesperson, Senator Brian Greig, says neither the Catholic Church, nor anyone else, should be able to have human rights laws overturned to meet their own ideological pursuits.

“This is a victory for the rights of all women, and for the confidence that all Australians should have in the Sex Discrimination Act.

“The Attorney General pulled out all stops after the Sex Discrimination Amendment legislation was set to fail in the Senate, even taking the extraordinary and biased step of issuing a fiat to the Catholic Church to challenge the laws,” Senator Greig said.

Democrats’ Leader, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, this afternoon spoke with the woman at the centre of the case, Ms Leesa Meldrum, to congratulate her on the victory.

Contacts: Senator Brian Greig, 08) 9228 3133 or Di Graham on 0417 177 523