I note that yesterday's initial report had more detail of the mother's neurotic sounding reaction than today's version linked above. The Daily Telegraph version had this part which was sure to raise eyebrows across the nation:
People would have been upset if it were a heterosexual couple complaining of the same thing, but add into the mix the fact that it's lesbians, and far from poor ones at that, and you have the ideal circumstances for a real culture war about gays and making children. Lucky John Howard, I think, as a conservative cultural backlash on such issues must surely be easier for him to handle than Labor. (Penny Wong, I am waiting for your comments about this case.)
The woman said she enjoyed some aspects of the pregnancy, such as decorating the girls' nursery, but other parts were distressing, including purchasing a pram.
"It was like the last frontier of acceptance to spend hundreds of dollars on a pram," she said.
To illustrate how angry people get about this, on talk back radio this morning I heard a man complaining how he and his ex wife had failed at IVF, how much it had cost them, etc, and then he started crying when he said that he was so angry to hear one of the women on the radio saying that if they won the case they would buy 2 Harleys and travel around Australia. The radio announcers had to interrupt quickly and reassure their listener that the earlier call (which I had missed) was fake. I presume this man heard what was intended to be a satirical call and assumed it was true.
The thing is, it is clear the doctor is admitting a mistake, and I am not entirely sure what his defence is. If the judge actually finds in favour of the women, the public outcry will be huge.
I expect that this case, regardless of its outcome, will make the issue of gay relationship financial rights all the more politically sensitive. These women are, at the very least, unhelpful to that cause.
I would also be curious to know how many of the public are against the idea of lesbians ever making their own children, whether it be by IVF, donor semen, or whatever. I suspect that people may well draw a strong distinction between lesbians who end up with children as a result of a failed heterosexual relationship, and those who have only ever been in lesbian relationships but use artificial methods to conceive. The public may well be more conservative on this than many people think.