5 June 2020

Melbourne IVF welcomes new legislation making access to ART easier and fairer for all

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Melbourne IVF

Melbourne IVF congratulates the new legislation passed today by the Victorian Government which removes mandatory police and child protection orders for people undergoing assisted reproductive treatments (ART), making access to ART easier and fairer for all. The new legislation passed on 4 June 2020 and the amendments are expected to commence 28 days after Royal Assent which should occur next week. 

Dr Lyndon Hale, Medical Director at Melbourne IVF said this important legislation change will be celebrated today by Melbourne IVF staff along with their patients. 

“This really is wonderful news, a positive change that will make a huge and instant difference to many people going through the emotional journey of assisted reproductive treatments,” said Dr Hale.

The mandatory checks were discriminatory, they imposed conditions on people who need the help of ART to have a baby, when couples who conceive naturally were exempt from the checks. 

“The checks were unnecessary and generated extra cost and we know from caring for our patients that they created additional stress. Everyone should be treated equally and imposing conditions was unfair.

 “In some cases, the delays are particularly difficult if treatment is urgent. Cancer patients needing urgent fertility preservation treatments such as egg and sperm freezing, prior to having chemotherapy were also required to undergo the police checks. 

“These legislative changes, part of the Victorian Government’s independent review of assisted reproductive treatment, are caring and a positive step forward to allowing equal access to reproductive assistance,” said Dr Hale. 

Back in 2000 one of the founders of Melbourne IVF, Professor John McBain, successfully challenged Victorian legislation that limited IVF to married women, resulting in a landmark victory, allowing access to infertility treatment including IVF to single women, de facto couples and women in same sex relationships.

Dr Hale said Melbourne IVF has a long standing commitment to helping people grow their families and we are delighted that there is no longer unfair discrimination of individuals / couples accessing IVF with mandatory police and child protection checks. 

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