Congress has approved an amendment to the in vitro fertilization law, which is expected to introduce genetic testing. Most opposition lawmakers voted in favor of the amendment, but the three refused to agree with the party’s policy and voted against it. The three members were former PN leader Adrian Delia, Mosta’s Ivan Bartolo, and Goditan’s Alex Borg.
This amendment, one of the major promises of the Labor Party’s government for the first 100 days, will allow doctors to perform genetic testing before implanting IVF embryos in the uterus. The test looks for nine rare genetic states, and embryos found to have the genetic state are frozen.
PN leader Bernard Grech said the opposition would vote in favor of the amendment after the government adopted many of the amendments proposed by the party.
However, many members of the party said they should be given a free vote.
Most of those voices were former PN leader Adrian Delia. He said he did not agree to test embryos that could be life-threatening or fatal, and said he would vote according to his conscience.
— Chris Fearne (@chrisfearne) July 6, 2022
Delia’s view, aired on his Facebook page, prompted other lawmakers to call on the party and allowed free voting on the issue. Party officials said that no one had requested at any point during the 10 hours of parliamentary group debate.
When the vote was held Wednesday night, Delia said she was voting against the amendment, claiming that the amendment was contrary to his beliefs and conscience. He said he was in favor of his life, from the concept to its natural end.
Delia said she was in favor of an amendment that would allow polar body testing and test for genetic disorders of oocytes before embryo formation. However, Delia said he was against testing the embryo itself. This means that the embryos will be discarded in every 5 tests.
Delia said the amendment violated the Embryo Protection Act and decided to vote against it.
Stephen Spiteri of PN MP then said he would vote in favor of the amendment “on behalf of the other members of the parliamentary group.”
He said the law regulates the process of in vitro fertilization and facilitates the process to allow more couples to have more children.
Spiteri can also inspect the eggs before the embryos are formed, according to an agreement with the government, and service experts are based on an informed agreement that future parents will benefit from the embryos. He said he would guarantee that the decision would be made.
However, when the vote took place, 66 lawmakers voted in favor and three voted against.
https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2022-07-06/local-news/All-eyes-on-PN-MPs-as-IVF-amendments-up-for-vote-in-Parliament-tonight-6736244263 Congress approves IVF amendment, but three PNMPs refuse to toe the party’s line