Community attitudes to assisted reproductive technology: a 20-year trend

Gabor T Kovacs, Gary Morgan, E Carl Wood, Donna Howlett and Catherine Forbes
Med J Aust 2003; 179 (10): 536-538.


Objective: To review the results of opinion polls on community attitudes to in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and other aspects of assisted reproductive technology over a 20-year period.

Design, setting and participants: Fourteen Australia-wide interview surveys that included questions relating to IVF were carried out between July 1981 and November 2001 as part of regular Morgan polls of community attitudes on various topics. Each survey involved about 1000 respondents drawn from randomly selected “cluster points” in urban and rural locations.

Main outcome measures: The proportion of people who approved or disapproved of various aspects of IVF treatment.

Results: Support for IVF to help infertile married couples increased from 77% in 1981 to 86% in 2001. Approval for IVF procedures being supported by Medicare funding rose from 70% in 1981 to 79% in 2000.

Conclusions: Community approval of the use of IVF to treat infertility has risen significantly in Australia over the past 20 years.

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  • Gabor T Kovacs1
  • Gary Morgan2
  • E Carl Wood3
  • Donna Howlett4
  • Catherine Forbes5

  • 1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University Medical School, Box Hill Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Roy Morgan Research Centre Pty Ltd, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 3 Monash IVF, Epworth Hospital, Richmond, VIC.
  • 4 Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics, Monash University, Clayton, VIC.


Competing interests:

As Chairman of the Roy Morgan Research Centre Pty Ltd, Gary Morgan has a financial interest in the RMRC.

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