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Pages tagged "surrogacy"
MR: Voters urged to support ‘kids-rights-first’ candidates for upper house
· April 14, 2011 10:00 AM
[caption id="attachment_6094" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Mark Brown"]
For release: Thursday April 14, 2011
Tasmanians are being urged to support candidates in the May 7 upper house elections who will support the right of a child to at least begin life with a mother and a father.
The Australian Christian Lobby described today’s likely lower house debate, which looks set to allow single men, single women and same-sex couples to acquire babies through surrogacy, as a fundamental breach of the rights of the child.
“The right of a child to at least begin life with a mother and a father is a fundamental right that should never be deliberately denied by a government which has a solemn duty to always act in the best interests of the child,” said ACL Tasmanian Director Mark Brown.
“While the desire for a child is a strong one for many adults, a compassionate civil society has a duty to ensure that the rights of the child come first.
“With elections set to take place for several upper house seats prior to debate on the Surrogacy Bill in the Legislative Council, the positions of candidates on this most fundamental of children’s rights will take prominence in the voting intentions of many Christians.
“We are calling on upper house candidates who will pledge to amend the Surrogacy Bill so that we don’t have a system of state-mandated fatherlessness or motherlessness.
“Whilst children are fatherless or motherless, mainly for reasons of tragedy or desertion, this is not something the state should decree for a child through legislation, which the Surrogacy Bill does,” Mr Brown said.
In the coming days the ACL will be sending questionnaires to all the candidates contesting the four upper house seats asking them for their views on a range of issues of concern to the Christian community, including whether candidates believe that surrogate children deserve to have a mum and a dad.
The responses to the questionnaires will be published on the ACL’s website and widely distributed to churches and individual Christians throughout the state.
“When responding to the questionnaire, we would encourage each of the candidates contesting the upper house elections to carefully consider whether the surrogacy model proposed by the government truly is in the best interests of children,” said Mr Brown.
ACL is opposed to all forms of surrogacy because of the well-documented confusion it causes for children who can end up with several adults having a biological and emotional stake in their birth and conception.
If the government is determined to legalise surrogacy, it should be restricted to infertile heterosexual couples, who can provide a child with the complementary love and care of a mum and a dad.
We would expect a children’s services minister and former child commissioner, both candidates, to understand the importance of ensuring the state does not mandate fatherlessness or motherlessness to a child.
MR: ACL urges support for child-friendly amendments to Tas Surrogacy Bill
· April 12, 2011 10:00 AM
For release: Tuesday 12
The Australian Christian Lobby today urged Tasmanian MPs to back amendments to the Surrogacy Bill designed to ensure children were not deprived of a mother and a father.
“MPs have a solemn duty to put the rights of children above the rights of adults,” ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said.
“This means that where the State makes policy for children it must ensure the right of a child to at least begin life with a mother and a father is upheld.”
Mr Brown commended the Liberal Party for putting forward amendments which prohibited single men and same-sex couples from accessing surrogacy but said the prohibition should be extended to single women as well.
“It is not lacking in compassion to put the rights of a child above even the heart-felt desires of adults for a child. As a society we must err on the side of the child,” Mr Brown said.
Debate on the Surrogacy Bill resumes in Parliament today.
MR Surrogacy debate is not a platform for abusive language
· April 06, 2011 10:00 AM
For release: Wednesday 6
The Australian Christian Lobby said it was not acceptable for the debate around surrogacy to invoke abusive language by groups such as the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group.
Tasmanian State Director Mark Brown said the gay lobby group’s comments to those who opposed surrogacy for same-sex couples as “pure and unadulterated, homophobic prejudice” sought to intimidate people out of voicing their concerns for children.
“While the Australian Christian Lobby believes surrogacy for same-sex couples and singles is wrong, because it denies the child to start life with a mother and father, the comments aimed at those who opposed altruistic surrogacy for same-sex couples, in this case the Liberal party, were out of line,” he said.
“There has to be room in our public discourse for those who believe in marriage and family to have the freedom to speak and contribute without immediately being intimidated by abusive language.
“Nobody can enter this debate from a perspective of marriage and family without being hit over the head with abusive language and this is totally inappropriate.
“Not even the Prime Minister has been immune from accusations of homophobia when Liberal MP and gay rights advocate Warren Entsch rejected her speech criticising the Greens for not sharing the values of average Australians when it comes to family. Mr Entsch reportedly said it would leave her open to the suspicion she was homophobic.
“There has to be room in our public discourse for those who believe in marriage and family to have the freedom to speak and contribute without immediately being intimidated by abusive language,” he said.
MR: Tasmanian surrogacy bill forgets child’s rights
· April 06, 2011 10:00 AM
For release: Wednesday 6
The Australian Christian Lobby today called on Tasmanian politicians to amend the Surrogacy Bill 2011 to ensure that a child’s right to at least begin life with a mother and father is upheld.
ACL Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said the Attorney General David Bartlett comments the legislation was about removing discrimination and allowing surrogacy for all people, regardless of their marital status or sexual orientation, elevated the rights of the adults above the rights of the child.
“While we understand the heart-felt desire of adults to have children, we should not be placing those desires above the rights of a child to have both a mother and a father. Children are not commodities and their interests should always come before the desires of adults,” Mr Brown said.
Mr Brown said it was vital that the Government consider the best interests of children and to separate the bill into two issues: heterosexual surrogacy and homosexual and single parent surrogacy.
“There needs to be consistency in surrogacy legislation – if it's going to be considered, all children who are produced through surrogacy should have the rights to begin with a mother and father,” he said.
“Clearly it is not in the best interests of children for the State to allow them to be conceived through assisted reproductive technology and then placed in an unnatural family construct that denies them a mother or a father.
Mr Brown said surrogacy was a very sensitive issue but those supporting the rights of a child to a mother and father should be free to advocate this without fear of intimidation and accusations of bigotry.
Tas surrogacy debate begins
· April 05, 2011 10:00 AM
Debate on the Surrogacy Bill 2011 and the associated amendments bill is scheduled to begin in Tasmania’s Lower House today. The bills, which are likely to be the subject of lengthy discussion, would allow singles and same sex couples to acquire a child via a surrogate.
The Liberals are yet to show their hand on this important legislation, while the ALP will vote as a party in support of surrogacy. David Bartlett yesterday told ABC radio that due to the complex nature of the bills it may be next month before they are debated in the Legislative Council.
Please therefore continue to make your concerns known to members of both houses via the ‘Kids’ rights count’ campaign at
. The website contains comprehensive information on the issue of surrogacy and makes contacting MPs quick and easy.
Protect kids' rights in Tas surrogacy debate
· March 17, 2011 11:00 AM
The ACL has launched its "Kids' rights count" campaign in response to the recent tabling of the Surrogacy Bill in Tasmania, which would allow singles and same sex couples to acquire a baby.
Surrogacy is a process whereby a woman agrees to carry a child to birth, before relinquishing care of the child to his or her ‘intended parent(s)’.
Whilst the sentiment of the bill seems commendable – assisting childless couples to become parents as a last resort – the bill is a minefield for children, who could be commissioned to be placed in homes without a mother or father, often deliberately separated from their biological parent(s).
This campaign is to ‘make a stand’ on behalf of the yet born, whose voice is tragically never heard in a debate of this nature – even when it centres on the wellbeing and best interests of children!
Please visit the ‘Kids’ rights count’ campaign at
to email your Lower and Upper House members about this bill. The site contains plenty of information on this important legislation, and helpful hints on what to write to your local MP.
ACL understands that the ALP will vote as a party bloc on this controversial legislation, no doubt putting some its members in an awkward position. The Liberals are yet to decide their position. Your contribution to the debate will go a long way in shaping its outcome. Please act NOW!
Media Release: Tasmanian Parliament should focus on running the state, not wasting time revisiting Greens’ social agendas
· March 07, 2011 11:00 AM
For release: 7th of March, 2011
With Parliament resuming tomorrow, the Australian Christian Lobby has called on Parliamentarians not to waste valuable time on Greens’ inspired radical social legislation such as euthanasia which has already been considered and rejected.
ACL’s Tasmanian State Director Mark Brown said there were important issues facing the State and legislators should not be distracted revisiting issues many of them had already spent days working on in Parliamentary inquiries and debate in the house.
“Days of parliamentary time have already been used debating euthanasia legislation which was rejected by the Tasmania Parliament as recently as November 2009 by 15 votes to nine,” he said.
“Euthanasia and assisted suicide advocate Dr Phillip Nitschke is presumptuously planning for a euthanasia clinic in anticipation for legislation to be passed this year.
“Legalising voluntary euthanasia is the intentional taking of innocent human life, which is contrary to the intent of the law to protect human life.
“Safeguards against abuse in euthanasia law have proven inadequate in protecting the lives of vulnerable elderly and sick patients who are made to feel a burden by such laws.
“It is not clear what new information the Greens can offer to allay the well-documented problems around designing euthanasia laws that don’t result in the abuse of vulnerable people or the de-funding of palliative care services,” he said.
Mr Brown was also concerned about proposed surrogacy legislation which would allow singles and same-sex couples to commission babies through surrogacy, deliberately denying a child the right to a mother or father.
The Parliament also looks set to revisit brothel laws but both Labor and Liberal had agreed to investigate the Swedish model which penalises the purchaser of a woman’s body.
“With recent debate again on the size of parliament, resources could be better utilised focussing on issues that have wider public outcomes.
“Our politicians need to focus on making sure the economy is running strongly, overhauling our broken child protection system and reducing hospital waiting times,” Mr Brown said.
Media Contact: Katherine Spackman on 0408 875 979.
New Tasmanian premier behind laws of concern to Christians
· January 27, 2011 11:00 AM
Tasmania’s new Premier Lara Giddings is the architect of a raft of proposed law changes of concern to Christians.
As Attorney General, she flagged surrogacy for same-sex couples, euthanasia, a charter of rights and legal brothels for Parliamentary debate this year.
Given these are also supported by the Greens, which share Government with Labor in Tasmania, ACL will be working hard to activate Christians to the injustices that stem from these agendas to children and other vulnerable members of society.
Ms Giddings replaces David Bartlett who stepped down to spend more time with his family.
ACL was disappointed last year when then Mr Barlett went back on his word and formed the minority government with the Greens after the March 2010 election. He had said on the
: “Because a back room deal with the Greens is a deal with the devil, and I'm am - am not going to sell my soul for the sake of remaining in power.”
During ACL’s Make It Count forum before the 2010 election, Mr Bartlett had made a commitment to further examine the Swedish model for criminalising men for purchasing sex, rather than legalising brothels. The ACL hopes Ms Giddings will honour this commitment.
Adult desires could trump kids’ rights in Tasmanian surrogacy push
· December 08, 2010 11:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today urged the Tasmanian Government not to go down the same path as Victoria and Queensland in allowing two men, two women and even single people to acquire a baby through surrogacy – thereby depriving the children of the complementary love and care of a mother and a father.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said surrogacy was fraught with emotional, biological and legal complexities for children, as well as for women who carry someone else’s baby.
“We urge Tasmanians to put forward their concerns on this issue and for the Tasmanian Government to ensure that they engage in genuine consultation rather than treating the legalisation of surrogacy as a fait accompli,” Mr Wallace said.
“If the Government does decide to proceed with changing the laws we would urge all political parties to allow their members a conscience vote on the issue.”
Mr Wallace said it was vital that the Government consider the best interests of children and, if they go ahead with legalising surrogacy, to restrict it to infertile heterosexual couples and to ensure that significant safeguards are in place.
These include ensuring surrogacy only occurs within the context of a committed relationship between a man and a woman and only when there is a genetic link between the arranged parents and the child.
“While we understand the heart-felt desire of adults to have children, we should not be placing those desires above the rights of a child to have both a mother and a father. Children are not commodities and their interests should always come before the desires of adults,” Mr Wallace said.
“Clearly it is not in the best interests of children for the State to allow them to be conceived through assisted reproductive technology and then placed in an unnatural family construct that denies them a mother or a father.”
NSW parliament passes surrogacy law
· November 11, 2010 11:00 AM
Last night the NSW Government’s
Surrogacy Bill 2010
was passed by the NSW Legislative Assembly.
While the often strong desire of people to have children is fully understandable, ACL does not support surrogacy because of concerns for the welfare of children born through surrogacy arrangements and also for the mental and physical health of birth mothers.
Whilst, it is extraordinary to think that surrogacy has been largely unregulated in NSW for such a long period of time, the Surrogacy Bill does not go far enough to protect the rights of children to be raised by a mother and a father.
If the Government is to regulate surrogacy then we urge them to ensure that children have the benefit of the love and role models of both a mother and a father – something we believe there is broad community support for.
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