[WATCH] Adrian Delia defends breaking ranks with party on IVF laws: ‘It’s about conscience and belief’

The former Opposition leader says the issue 'has nothing to do with partisan politics' 

Former Opposition leader Adrian Delia has defended his plans to vote against amendments to Malta’s IVF laws, despite his party having previously decided to vote in favour of the reform in parliament.

“It’s not about breaking rank,” Delia told MaltaToday on Tuesday. “It’s a matter of conscience and belief.”

He explained that the issue is not about IVF but specifically about embryo genetic testing, which he claimed will destroy embryos in 20% of cases.

“For me it has nothing to do with partisan politics but specifically about my fundamental belief in life, my belief that life starts at conception.”

He pointed out that the Nationalist Party’s statute lays out its belief in “full respect for the value of human life” and says it must work for “the development and health of everyone, from conception to death”.

Delia went on to say that he would be in favour of using “any method, any new technological advancement in science and medicine, so long as they don’t harm the embryo”.

On Sunday, Grech said during an interview on the party station that the Opposition will vote for the IVF Bill in parliament when it comes up for the Third Reading, which is the last stage.

However, Delia wrote on Facebook that same day saying that he disagreed with PGT. Delia wrote: “I believe in life [and] I believe that the value of life is inalienable… A test on an unfertilised female egg would not put anyone's life in danger. Genetic testing on embryos would."

Delia’s comment was endorsed by veteran MP Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici and promptly followed by Gozitan MP Alex Borg, who also objected to PGT.

The number of PN MPs publicly voicing their dissent continued to grow on Monday morning with Mosta-based MP, Ivan Bartolo, insisting that a law that allows genetic testing on embryos cannot be called an ‘Embryo Protection Act’.