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MGRM dismisses PN motion challenge as 'unnecessary and discriminatory'

The Malta Gay Rights Movement has described the PN motion, which would stop lesbians from obtaining medical leave to seek IVF abroad, as one based on a false premise

Denise Grech
7 October 2017, 12:55pm
The Embryo Protection Act is the law governing IVF procedures in Malta.
The Embryo Protection Act is the law governing IVF procedures in Malta.
The Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) dismissed the motion put forward by the Nationalist Party against medical leave to lesbian couples who seek IVF treatment abroad as unnecessary and discriminatory in its intent.

The MGRM held that the motion, which calls for a change in the definition of prospective parents in the Embryo Protection Act, is based on a false premise.

The legal notice currently grants 100 hours of leave to "any couple in a stable relationship accessing IVF treatment whether in Malta or abroad."

The NGO praised amendments that broadened definitions of “prospective parents” to include both homosexual and heterosexual parents.

The MGRM urged the government to take the necessary steps to amend the Embryo Protection Act to bring it in line with the constitutional provisions, which ban discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Earlier this week, the Nationalist party filed a motion in parliament pointing out a difference in the definition of the terms “prospective parents” and “medically assisted procreation” in the Embryo Protection Act and the motion that grants leave to couples seeking IVF.

The Embryo Protection Act does not include homosexual couples, whereas the newly instated legal notice’s definition of prospective parents includes individuals in civil unions, cohabitation or a stable relationship with each other.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has criticised the move, saying the PN’s “new way looks worse than the old one.”

Equality Minister Helena Dalli has also lambasted the move, calling the PN extremist and saying that the motion went against constitutional laws protecting individuals against discrimination of sexual orientation.