[WATCH] Adrian Delia’s leadership more extremist than Simon Busuttil’s – Labour

Helena Dalli: PN motion to deny lesbians and infertile women from access to leave for getting IVF treatment abroad contradicts stand to support constitutional ban on discrimination of sexual orientation

Chris Fearne and Helena Dalli said the opposition had agreed not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation
Chris Fearne and Helena Dalli said the opposition had agreed not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation

The Labour Party has said that it appears that with Adrian Delia as its leader, the Nationalist Party seems to be more extremist than it was under former leader Simon Busuttil.

Addressing a press conference on a motion passed in parliament on Tuesday, where the PN called for a change in a legal notice published last June allowing lesbians and infertile women from undergoing IVF procedures abroad, Equality minister Helena Dalli emphasised that the legal notice had followed a long period of consultation in the employment relation board.

“There was agreement between the government, social partners and unions for these 100 days leave to be given to people undergoing IVF treatment,” said Dalli.

She added that constitutionally, with the agreement of the PN in parliament, there could be no discrimination against any person on the basis of their sexual orientation.

Insisting that she had initially thought the news was fake, Dalli said that she could not understand how “the same people that had agreed with the government on the enshrining measures against discrimination in the constitution were now presenting this motion”.

Regarding the PN’s claim that the legal notice contradicted the Embryo Protection Act, Dalli said the two laws were totally different, stressing that there was in fact no contradiction.

“We are members of EU where there is freedom of movement, so anyone is free to get treatment anywhere. So what we are saying is that we would simply not give leave to people simply because they are not doing it in Malta,” she said.  

Moreover, the minister added that there was also a “human element” to the issue.

“The PN wants to hurt people who want children and who are already passing through a difficult time,” she added.

Health minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne said that the PN’s motion clearly showed that the PN’s new direction was to take the country “back to the years when we lived in limbo”.

“We know that the law passed by the PN on IVF allows only opposite sex couples to undergo the treatment. We know this creates discrimination,” he said, adding that no person should be deprived of any form of medical treatment on the basis of their sexual orientation.

“Barely 24 hours after Adrian Delia took was sworn into the parliament, the party is trying to pass this regressive motion,” said Fearne.

“[Delia] want to take Malta back a number of years but the Labour Party and the nation will not let him.”

Furthermore, Fearne said the government had an electoral mandate to revise and update the country’s IVF laws.

Asked when he envisaged this happening and what changes were most likely to be included, Fearne was evasive, insisting that the changes would be put to the parliamentary group “in the coming months, by next year”.

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