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Government Shelves Surrogacy Ban Plans

babyfootInteresting news has been circulating out of Australia. The Brisbane Times reports:

The state government has quietly shelved legislation to ban gay couples and single mothers from using altruistic surrogacy to have children.

In what one Liberal National Party MP called a ‘‘brain-snap’’ Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie announced the proposal at a late night session of parliament last June while debating amendments to the civil union legislation.

Mr Bleijie said the LNP would introduce a bill to repeal aspects of the Surrogacy Act which allow single people, same-sex couples and de facto couples to use altruistic surrogates.

The proposal had not been discussed with the party room and senior LNP ministers said they ‘‘did not recall’’ or ‘‘did not know’’ if Mr Bleijie had raised the issue with cabinet before making the announcement.

‘‘It was a brain snap, some of us could not believe what was happening,’’ a member of the caucus said.

Fairfax Media understands the bill was quietly shelved last year after moderates in the party expressed dismay at the plans and it was concluded the bill was not a ‘‘priority’’.

It is understood Premier Campbell Newman was one of the party members to privately hold concerns about the potential changes though his spokesman directed questions to Mr Bleijie’s office.

‘‘This is an important law reform issue and as such will be given necessary consideration by the Attorney-General,” Mr Bleijie said through a spokesman when asked if there were plans to introduce the bill to parliament.

The response is identical, word-for-word, to his statement in November when asked for a timeline on when the bill would be introduced.

Any mention of a Surrogacy Bill or amendments to the Surrogacy Act are missing from the LNP’s latest six month plan which was released in January.

Mr Newman said before last year’s state election no changes would be made to surrogacy laws but once Mr Bleijie made the announcement he said he had made a ‘‘mistake’’.

At the time Mr Newman said he agreed with the changes to the Surrogacy Act but would not say why.

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/government-shelves-surrogacy-ban-plans-20130326-2gs5q.html#ixzz2Orl5UDx4

It sounds to me like there is not much support for an amendment to the current surrogacy plan. Let’s hope it stays that way.


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