Comodini Cachia will break ranks and vote against PN's IVF leave motion

Nationalist MP Therese Comodini Cachia will stick to her guns and vote against her party's own motion to cancel a legal notice granting leave to IVF patients when it comes up for parliamentary debate tomorrow

PN MP Therese Comodini Cachia will vote against the party line on IVF leave motion
PN MP Therese Comodini Cachia will vote against the party line on IVF leave motion

More trouble could be brewing for the Nationalist Party, as Therese Comodini Cachia has indicated she would be voting according to her conscience in tomorrow’s parliamentary debate on a motion put forward by her party on leave for IVF patients.

The motion seeks to cancel a legal notice introduced before the summer that granted lesbians and infertile women leave entitlement for IVF treatment. The PN’s motion was filed on the day PN leader Adrian Delia was sworn in as MP.

Party sources told MaltaToday that Delia was adamant during a parliamentary group meeting held this week that no free vote would be given when the House debated the motion. The PN leader has been insisting all along the objection was over the inconsistency between the description of prospective parents in the legal notice and the IVF law that limits treatment to opposite sex couples.

Last month, Comodini Cachia said she expected Delia to give the parliamentary group a free vote when discussing the matter, registering her objection to the motion filed by her own party.

READ MORE: What is the PN's issue with the IVF leave regulations introduced last June

Delia had stressed during the leadership campaign that he believed in giving MPs a free vote on matters of conscience, an appeal he also made to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat during their meeting last September.

When contacted, Comodini Cachia refused to discuss what had been said during the parliamentary group meeting, or to even acknowledge that one took place, however she said that she had not changed her position on the matter.

“If your question is whether I’ve changed my position on the IVF proposal, then no I have not,” she said, raising the possibility of a rerun of last July's vote on the Marriage Equality Bill, in which MP Edwin Vassallo voted according to his conscience and against the party line.

“I will not vote against my conscience. I always respect the party line except where my conscience is involved," Comodini Cachia said.

Sources told this newspaper that Comodini Cachia was not alone in opposing the motion. Several MPs also objected to the PN motion but the sources said it was unclear whether they would follow Comodini Cachia's stand and vote against the party line.

The PN's move had been criticised by many NGOs and civil liberties campaigners. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had also called it "offensive".