According to Australian daily The Courier Mail, Catholic hospitals down-under fear that their patients will use new anti-discrimination laws to demand abortions, vasectomies and IVF treatments that now banned for religious reasons. It was overwhelming public rejection against the Australian government's draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination bill that forced Attorney-General Nicola Roxon re-trace her steps on January 30. Roxon has admitted her department is re-wording a contentious clause that redefines discrimination as conduct that "insults or offends.'
However, Australia's state governments and religious groups, such as the Catholic Church, are still concerned that other flaws in the draft of the 198-page legislation will trigger lawsuits for alleged discrimination.
Catholic Health, which assembles 75 hospitals, contends the bill is "confusing'' for patients. "It does give rise to the potential for vexatious claims to be made,'' Catholic Health chief executive Martin Laverty told News Ltd. "But they'd have no legal standing." He added, "We don't provide the full range of reproductive health services and we're transparent about that. To not provide the service is not to discriminate.''