The Malta Independent 17 June 2024, Monday
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President says IVF law will be signed, but doesn’t say if he will do so himself

Thursday, 7 July 2022, 12:24 Last update: about 3 years ago

President George Vella insisted on Thursday that the new IVF bill will be signed into law, but was not clear on whether he would be signing it himself.

On Wednesday, Parliament approved a bill that will see the introduction of pre-implantation genetic testing that will screen for nine serious health conditions. Foetuses found to carry any of these conditions will be frozen.

The bill was approved by both sides of the House, although three PN MPs voted against, despite not having been given a free vote.

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There was speculation on whether President George Vella, who is known for his conservative views and who had previously spoken against embryo freezing, would sign the bill into law.

Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Vella said embryo freezing was introduced into law in 2018. “It has already been introduced.”

He then insisted that the law will be signed, but would not give a clear answer when asked if he will be the one to sign the Bill. “I repeat, the law will be signed,” he repeatedly told reporters.

He also refused to say whether he would be in Malta when the Bill is signed.

Should he be away, the task would fall upon the newly appointed Acting President, Frank Bezzina.

In 2018, after stepping down as an MP, George Vella had criticised IVF changes, calling them “a complete travesty of ethics, morality, and human dignity.”

The President had also spoken out against abortion, saying he would rather resign than sign a law that introduces the practice in Malta.

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