In a historic moment in the Australian Parliament on Wednesday 30 March, Federal Senators have voted in favour of the Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform Bill (Maeve’s Law) 2021. 

The passage of the law through the Senate is the culmination of more than six years of tireless advocacy, extensive consultation, and input from technical experts and the community. 

“Maeve’s Law represents the best of our democracy – with the legislation passed after several years of careful consideration, respectful debate and public and expert engagement,” Dr Doug Lingard AM, President and Chairman of the Mito Foundation said.

“Politicians often get criticised for being in the Canberra Bubble and not working on what really matters to everyday Australians.

“This evening helps restore some faith, and more importantly delivers hope to thousands of Australians, repaying the efforts and courage of the mito community in fighting for this law. 

“We would like to thank everyone involved in this process to reach where we are today. The passing of the legislation is a significant outcome for many in our community who do it incredibly tough.

“We want to thank MPs and Senators for their support, openness to engage and consideration of the issues, particularly the outstanding efforts of the Health Minister Greg Hunt. 

“Minister Hunt has been a tireless advocate and widely respected Health Minister that has done an incredible job for the mito community and all Australians – especially the last two years of the pandemic.

“We also wish to thank our patron, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and acknowledge the ongoing support of Shadow Ministers for Health, firstly Chris Bowen, and now Mark Butler, and the ongoing support of Dr Katie Allen and Dr Mike Freelander among countless others.

“We also remember those from the mito community who did not make it to share this moment. Their spirit shines a little brighter this evening.”

Mito Foundation CEO Sean Murray said: 

“Maeve’s Law is about hope and about people. 

“The next part of this journey soon begins – which is the clinical trials – which will rest in the hands of our incredibly talented medical scientists and experts.”

Mr Murray said Maeve’s Law has been carefully written to ensure a cautious introduction and evaluation of mitochondrial donation technology.

The technology will be in a clinical trial setting for several years, during which time the health of babies born using these techniques will be carefully monitored.

This is one step towards a brighter future for families impacted by mito but there is still much to be done. Click here to support our work.