[WATCH] 'PN’s surprise motion against medical leave for IVF is offensive' – Muscat

Prime Minister questions motive behind debate to challenge medical leave for gay couples seeking sperm donation

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has expressed his surprise at a motion presented by the Nationalist opposition, seeking to stop new rules that allow medical leave for people travelling abroad for IVF treatment.

The Prime Minister, who was taking questions from the press following a visit at GO, said he looked forward to the parliamentary debate to understand why the Opposition would go into the trouble of opposing the medical leave.

The PN said that the legal notice published last June, was "good", but the definition of the terms “prospective parents” and “medically assisted procreation” were different from the definitions laid out in the Embryo Protection Act – the law governing IVF in Malta.

The challenge would stop lesbians travelling abroad for IVF services from being granted medical leave.

Since the opposition has challenged the motion, Muscat said he expected a parliamentary debate.

“I honestly cannot understand the reason behind the motion. It’s offensive,” he said, adding that if it were a question of legal conformity, he would have expected a request to update the IVF law and not restrict rights.

Muscat said he could understand the opposition may not be in full agreement with the IVF legislation, but not why it would take the trouble to challenge it.

He went on to point out that the Labour Party in government had a strong electoral mandate “to modernise” IVF legislation.

Joseph Muscat refuses to be dragged into Bundy controversy

The Prime Minister has once again refused to state whether John Bundy’s position as CEO of the Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) was untenable.

The board of directors have decided to appoint an ad hoc inquiry to determine Bundy’s culpability in an alleged breach of procurement rules.

“The decision to appoint an inquiry was the board’s own initiative and I did not even know about it. The decision was theirs and it’s up to them to handle it. I absolutely don’t want to get involved.”

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