SA Opposition Health to vote against IVF bill
ADELAIDE: The state Opposition Health Spokesperson Martin Hamilton-Smith has confirmed he will vote against a bill which will allow access for lesbian couples and single women to IVF treatment in South Australia.
The Assisted Reproductive Treatment (ART) Amendment Bill 2012 from Social Inclusion Minister Ian Hunter was recently introduced to the Lower House by Health Minister John Hill.
Hamilton-Smith told blaze he believes as a legislator he has to vote in the best interest of the children.
“I just want the people of the same-sex community to know that I understand where they are coming from and I respect their point of view but I just have a different point of view,” he said.
“I think also that it’s an issue that goes beyond same-sex couples to single people and whether it is in the interest of the child for a single parent to decide that because they want a child that a child should be born without a father who they know and who loves them.”
The opposition spokesperson added that he did not oppose other pieces of legislation which allowed for greater rights for LGBT people particularly in regards to property laws.
“I appreciate that their relationships are genuinely in long-term relationships and they bear many similarities to marriage, I fully accept that but on the question of children rather than property my personal view is that it’s best to have laws to provide for a mother and a father to be there during the child’s birth and after,” he said.
“I know that would be traumatic for the couples involved and I know this is a very difficult issue, but in electing for a same-sex relationship as a choice, it creates a biological problem that you can’t have children. It’s just a medical fact and one way or the other the couple will need help.
“So it is a choice one makes when one enters into a same-sex relationship that the options for having children are narrowed.”
Social Inclusion Minister Ian Hunter said Hamilton-Smith shouldn’t be imposing his own moral values on women who want to start a family.
“Effectively, voting against this provision will not stop a single woman from accessing Assisted Reproductive Treatment. It just forces them to go interstate where it is available. It’s at great expense to them personally, and can be traumatic as well,” Hunter said.
“There are plenty of studies out there which will show you that, in fact, the parental make-up of a couple has very little outcome on the future of a child.
“What really impacts on the child is a loving home environment that’s supportive of them and conducive to them flourishing. That’s what’s important.”
According to Hamilton-Smith the bill will receive a full conscience vote from both the major state parties.
“I think that gives this issue the best chance of an honest and proper airing and I would not be surprised if the measure passes and if it does well that would be the decision of the parliament,” he said.