Infertile couples lash out at deceitful song that claims to tell 'embryo's story'

The song plays on emotions and is devoid of any truth, Malta Infertility Network says

Maltese singer Aleandro PT submitted the song for the L-Ghanja tal-Poplu contest
Maltese singer Aleandro PT submitted the song for the L-Ghanja tal-Poplu contest

Infertile couples that had to resort to in-vitro fertilisation to become parents were left hurt by a Maltese song that claims to tell the story from an embryo’s point of view.

The song by Aleandro Pace Tahir, ‘Iffrizajt’, was unsuccessfully submitted for the L-Ghanja tal-Poplu song contest. According to the 19-year-old artist, he is not against IVF, but he is against the freezing of embryos.

Malta’s Embryo Protection Act introduced oocyte vitrification – the freezing of eggs – and a technical committee was later set up to discuss draft amendments to IVF legislation. Embryo freezing is already included in the law, but is only applied in extreme and exceptional cases.

The song, with an accompanying image of a foetus, starts off with Pace Tahir singing that he was left “locked inside like a slave… frozen in a coffin”. The lyrics were not only considered to be insensitive, but also factually incorrect, deceitful and devoid of any truth.

The Malta Infertility Network described the song as “an unjust onslaught on infertile couples”.

“The video imagery utilised to promote the song is of a foetus; giving the impression that fully formed humans are being frozen. Such imagery is purposely being utilised since it is something the audience is more likely to relate to. Reality is much different. It is day 3, 5, 6 (post fertilisation) embryos that are frozen; at such stage, there exists no conscious ability,” the network said.

The network explained that at this stage, the cells have the potential to further progress into embryos, but even in natural, unassisted reproductive cycles, there exists no certainty of such progress, since the cell mass still needs to implant and develop inside the uterus.

Moreover, the network adds, not all IVF cycles lead to embryo freezing; and when performed, it is only done such that the couple may utilise the embryo in future cycles. “If the scope was to eliminate life, the couple would not even consider preserving the embryos for future cycles,” the NGO pointed out.

The Malta Infertility Network described the song as portraying “a fictional, if not extremist, situation in which, for no reason, a foetus is frozen and abandoned; depicting the couple as heartless individuals with little or no concern for life”.

But for infertile couples, this statement could not be further from the truth: “The concern and value for life is so strong in infertile couples, that they not only invest financially to create life, but also endure and persevere through emotion turmoil that infertility creates for them. Hence, the dissemination and promotion of false propaganda, serves no rightful purpose to society; only adding to the heartache that infertile couples endure.”

The network reminded that artists are looked upon by society with respect and it was therefore their duty to ensure that such respect is not abused for whatever reason.

“Hence, with the utmost respect towards local artists; this NGO strongly advices such artists to research on any topic they want to touch upon and focus on disseminating truthful and value adding messages that educate and enhance our society. This is something that was not done in this case; at the expense of further burdening infertile couples, who are already struggling with emotional, medical and financial aspects of IVF.”

More in Health