The Malta Independent 25 May 2020, Monday

PN objection to law granting IVF leave for lesbian couples, infertile women ‘offensive’ - Muscat

Friday, 6 October 2017, 12:23 Last update: about 4 years ago

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat today expressed that that he finds the objection of the Nationalist Party towards the law granting vacation leave to lesbian couples and infertile women for In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) reasons "offensive."

Replying to questions by the media following a press conference at GO plc regarding the PN's reaction to the legal notice, Muscat said that he cannot understand the decision.

"I cannot understand it, it is offensive," he said. "I await the debate in parliament to challenge the position and to try and understand it."


The Nationalist Party filed the motion in parliament yesterday to contest the legal notice following new Nationalist Party Leader Adrian Delia's swearing in as MP. 

The motion contesting the legal notice argues that the terminology in the latter differs from that in the Embryo Protection Act, according to the party.

The legal notice has been in place since May of this year. Introduced on 30 May, the legal notice allows 60 hours of paid leave to the employee who is undergoing treatment and another 40 hours to the other prospective parent.

In a press release sent yesterday evening, the Nationalist Party said, "The Opposition, through the Spokesperson for Health Stephen Spiteri and Parliamentary Whip David Agius, forwarded the motion to Parliament to assure that the legal notice put forward by the government does not break the law. Actually, the legal notice breaks the Embryo Protection Act. This is because the Embryo Protection Act speaks about 'prospective parents' and 'procreation by assisted medication'. "

"The Opposition did not oppose this legal notice to remove individual rights. On the contrary, with this motion the Opposition is assuring that the actual law is not broken." 


Muscat 'noted' Chief Justice's speech

Replying to questions by the press, Muscat also said that he has "noted" what Chief Justice Silvio Camilleri said last Monday in his speech regarding enforcing the rule of law.

Asked whether he agrees with what was said by Camilleri, Muscat replied "I think we can never ignore the rule of law. I have noted what the Chief Justice said, though I think I have a different interpretation."

After expressing his respect for Camilleri, Muscat said "I note what he said and will definitely not ignore it."

Last Monday, Chief Justice Silvio Camilleri spoke of the importance of safeguarding the rule of law, commenting that without proper law enforcement this cannot take place. 


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