The Australian Sperm Donor Registry -“ a website created to link women with men who are willing to donate sperm -“ could be shut down by the South Australian parliament.
Sally Ryan and Jenny Thompson established the ASDR website after they struggled to find a sperm donor for themselves.
A year later, the couple are expecting their first baby this week. Other users of the website might not be so lucky.
South Australian Liberal MP Robert Brokenshire announced last week he would introduce a private member’s bill to ban the website.
We have got to start to get back to a focus on families and communities and this website is working the wrong way, Brokenshire told The Advertiser.
I respect the rights of lesbians and gays, they are good people. However, I personally do not approve of an open sperm bank intended to promote birth opportunities for non-heterosexual couples.
The story made page three of Adelaide’s daily newspaper. Ryan told Sydney Star Observer she did not know of Brokenshire’s plans when she spoke about the website to the press.
Ryan and Thompson received extensive legal advice when they started the website. As they were not storing or selling sperm, they were advised the site did not breach any laws.
Women who are not medically infertile are not able to access sperm from clinics in South Australia.
Some women are feeling a sense of desperation, Lesbian Parenting SA spokeswoman Di Whitaker-Lockwood told the Star.
They are resorting to advertising for sperm in newspapers. At least with the website they are finding people who have considered the consequences. Some women here are also travelling to Sydney for treatment, which is emotionally and financially devastating.
SA premier Mike Rann told an Adelaide radio station Labor MPs would be allowed a conscience vote in parliament on the website’s future.
Rann told 5DN he did not support government-funded IVF treatments for lesbians.
IVF, which costs a lot of money to the state, was set up to help people who are infertile, Rann said.
Brokenshire will introduce his private member’s bill about the ASDR website when SA parliament resumes in May.