The Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform (Maeve’s Law) Bill 2021 was passed in the Senate on Wednesday 30 March 2022 with 37 Senators voting in favour of the Bill and only 17 against.
This followed a convincing majority vote in the House of Representatives on 1 December 2021.
This marks a historic moment for the Australian parliament and an enormous milestone for the mito community. The passage of Maeve's Law offers real hope for families impacted by mitochondrial DNA disease to have healthy children of their own.
When introducing the Bill into Parliament in March 2021, Health Minister Greg Hunt made a heartfelt speech and acknowledged five-year-old Maeve Hood who lives with mitochondrial disease (mito) and after whom the Bill was named. You can read more here.
We thank former Prime Minister Scott Morrison for his impassioned public endorsements throughout the process. Read more here.
Mito Foundation continues to talk to engage our Parliamentarians, including new members of Parliament. This work will build on what they learned about mito from the Maeve's Law campaign, and help them understand what else needs to be done to improve the lives of the Australian mito community.
The road to legalising mitochondrial donation
Government Response to Senate Report
Mito Foundation welcomed the government response to recommendations from the Senate Inquiry on mitochondrial donation in Australia, which recognised the need for swift action for those impacted by mito.
Post Federal Election
The foundation updated its strategy with new stakeholders and commenced planning to support with public consultation process towards legislative change. A supporting media campaign was developed, and this work was undertaken in close consultation with the NHRMC and the minister's office.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) launched a public consultation into legalising mitochondrial donation to seek views from the Australian community on the social and ethical issues involved.
Introduction of Bill to the Parliament
On 24 March 2021, Minister Greg Hunt introduced the Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform (Maeve’s Law) Bill 2021 into the Parliament. This followed the recent public consultation into the government's proposed two stage approach to introducing mitochondrial donation.
Federal Government Funding Announced
The foundation welcomed the Australian Government’s continued investment in life-saving research for mitochondrial donation with $4.4 million (over 4 years) announced in the 2021-22 Federal Budget on 11 May 2021.
July & August 2021
Senate Inquiry and Report published
Maeve’s Law debated in the Senate
Federal Senators participated in a thorough and balanced debate on the Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform (Maeve’s Law) Bill 2021 during the first three parliamentary sitting days of 2022, ending on 10 February.
Maeve’s Law Passed
On Wednesday 30 March, the conscience vote to pass the Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform (Maeve’s Law) Bill 2021 received overwhelming support with 37 Senators voting in favour of the Bill and only 17 against.
The power of community-driven advocacy
1,915+ advocacy emails and letters sent to parliamentarians
196+ face to face meetings held with parliamentarians
485+ phone calls and text messages to parliamentarians
37 votes in favour of Maeve’s Law in the Senate
3,500+ hours of work by Mito Foundation staff
92 votes in favour of Maeve’s Law in the Lower House
60 medical, scientific and ethical expert signatures on an open letter of endorsement
1,100+ media articles reached over 28 million people in 2020 and 2021.
35,562+ tears of joy on 30 March 2022