The APP was pleased to see the AMA (Australian Medical Association) issue a statement against two lesbians who are suing their doctor for $400,000 in damages over the “wrongful” birth of one child after giving birth to two perfectly healthy twins as a result of having access to the IVF process. In the Daily Telegraph (25/09/2007), AMA ACT president Dr. Andrew Foote said that the community was outraged and that a healthy baby could not be considered “a damage”. Dr. Foote also suggested that the suppression be lifted on the names of the lesbians since the doctor involved has been named, “there should be an equal playing field” he said. He went on to say that a successful “wrongful birth” suit could open a “Pandora’s box”.
However, it seems that the AMA has been hung on its own petard. In response to the federal government’s decision to re-introduce legislation to deny IVF access, AMA president Dr. Kerryn Phelps issued a statement in 2002 stating:
“Single women and gay women pay taxes too,” Dr Phelps said.
“They are entitled to equal treatment in the community.
“The AMA supports the protection of equal rights for women who want access to reproductive technology.
“There is no evidence that same-sex parents are more or less successful than heterosexual parents.
In a radio interview with Steve Price on Sydney’s 2GB, Dr. Kerryn Phelps indulges in some incredible Political Correctness to justify access to IVF for homosexuals:
PRICE: Surely, IVF was developed for women who have been unable to give birth through natural means, as in having sex with their partner, and they have been infertile.
PHELPS: Well, that would apply to women who are in lesbian relationships.
PRICE: Why so?
PHELPS: Well, because if they’re having sex with their partners they can’t get pregnant in that way, and so…
PRICE: But surely, lesbians having sex together are not doing so in a bid to produce a child.
PHELPS: Neither are most heterosexual couples who are having sex. During most of their relationships they’re not having sex for procreation.
PRICE: The key word there is neither are most of. I mean, two lesbian women can’t naturally conceive a child.
PHELPS: Well, they can. They can get donor sperm. But if they do that at home, then they are at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, and that the safer way is to go into an artificial insemination program which is supervised medically and provided by a clinic.
While the APP welcomes the statements of Dr. Andrew Foote as being reflective of community outrage over the issue of homosexuals having access to IVF programs, one gets the impression it’s more about protecting themselves from similar lawsuits then anything about the morals and ethics of homosexuals “having” children. Under a Protectionist government homosexuals would not have access to IVF, adoption or fostering. Homosexuals do not conform to what constitutes a family unit and the APP see it as an attack against the traditional family unit, one of the most elemental structures of our society.
Brad Watts. “Docs’ anger at IVF lesbian case”, Daily Telegraph, 25 September 2007
“PM’s stance on IVF discriminatory – Phelps” [media release], Australian Medical Association, 22 April 2002
“Dr Kerryn Phelps, AMA President, with Steve Price, Radio 2UE” [transcript], Australian Medical Association, 23 April 2002