Australian Greens want free IVF, label Liberals policy 'conservative and exclusionary'

This is a step in the right direction, given the falling birthrate.  To support an ageing population, Australia needs all the babies it can get.  And we know that IVF babies will be well treated and so fulfil their potential.  It is however odd that the Greens support the idea.  They used to be in favour of population reduction

The ACT Greens want assisted reproductive services to be free, condemning the Canberra Liberals policy as "conservative and exclusionary".

The Liberals announced this week they would pay up to $2000 towards IVF and certain fertility treatments for those who are deemed medically infertile.

The territory government has already fired back and said they are working on their own policy, after promising to explore options in late 2022. Labor is also expected to reveal a policy as part of its health commitments in the election campaign.

The Greens say they believe assisted reproductive services should be included in the public health system and it should be free.

"Assisted reproductive healthcare is expensive. Whether you have fertility issues, have a disability, are in an LGBTQIA+ relationship or no relationship at all, everyone should have choice and free access to start a family," ACT Greens health spokeswoman Emma Davidson said.

"The ACT Greens want a fairer public health system - where assisted reproductive services are available to everyone, for free, without the emotion toll that comes from fitting into an exclusionary definition of infertility."

Under the Liberals scheme, same-sex couples and individuals will only be able to access the rebates if they are medically infertile.

However, Ms Davidson said this would mean a person would be put through a distressing process and treatments such as IVF should be available to everyone.

"The ACT Liberals policy relies on a conservative and exclusionary view of what a family is. Canberra is incredibly diverse, and we need initiatives that reflect this to create a truly inclusive and fair community," she said.

"Not everyone can fall pregnant and it's not always because they are medically infertile. Under the Liberals policy, people will still need to go through a costly and lengthy process to be considered medically infertile which can be distressing on the individual, their partners and family."

The proposed rebates from the Liberals will cover out-of-pocket expenses of up to $2000 when undergoing IVF or certain assisted reproductive technology and up to $1000 for intra uterine insemination. The party says they are not considering a public service as part of their pitch to voters.

Opposition health spokeswoman Leanne Castley said the party had chosen to only open the scheme to those who were medically infertile as it was the biggest cohort in need of assistance.

"This is open for all Canberran families that have fertility challenges," she said this week.

"We hear from families who are struggling with infertility and believe that's the biggest cohort who do need assistance and it's just a small way we can help those families who are struggling with infertility."


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