THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN OF CANADA
Assisted Human Reproduction
June 12, 2002
The Hon. Anne McLellan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health,
0916A Brooke Claxton Building, 16th Floor,
Dear Ms. McLellan,
Members of the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC), meeting in Halifax May 30 – June 2, congratulate the government on the introduction of Bill C 56 on Assisted Human Reproduction. As a woman’s organization Council members have been concerned about the delay in following up the recommendations of the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies and have been urging the government to introduce legislation which would establish policy and a regulatory framework.
NCWC therefore welcomes the establishment of the Assisted Human Reproduction Agency as an advisory and regulatory body, as well as many other provisions of the new Bill. Council supports, for example, the prohibition of such activities as human cloning, commercialized surrogacy, and the creation of embryos for research purposes. Members agree that surplus embryos created by in vitro fertilization should be made use of in research, provided there is donor consent.
As the Bill states, the health and well-being of the children created through new technology must be given priority in any decision-making. Donor screening needs to comprehensive, and both the parents and the donors need skilled counselling. Most important, the children born as a result of assisted human reproduction need to be able to determine their biological origins if they are to develop a proper sense of their own identity. NCWC would be very concerned if the legislation did not make this possible.
NCWC will be following with close interest the progress of the Bill, and again congratulate you on its introduction.
National Council of Women of Canada, (founded in 1893) is a federation of both organizations and individuals working to improve conditions of life for women and their families in their communities.
With best wishes,