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Thursday, 18 April, 2002, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
Australia backs lesbian IVF treatment
The Australian High Court has rejected a bid by the Roman Catholic Church to ban single women and lesbians from having babies through in-vitro fertilisation.

The court dismissed a suit brought by the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference seeking to prevent a 40-year-old woman Leesa Meldrum having IVF treatment in her home state of Victoria.

The woman had earlier won a challenge in a lower federal court against a Victoria state law barring single women and lesbians from IVF treatment.

The Australian centre-right government has indicated it may now try to bring in legislation to outlaw such treatment.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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