The Malta Independent 11 August 2022, Thursday

Watch - ‘Wait and see’: President still does not say who will sign IVF law

Shona Berger Friday, 8 July 2022, 10:10 Last update: about 2 months ago

President George Vella again refused to say this morning who will be signing the IVF bill into law.

Asked by The Malta Independent on Friday, Vella would not be drawn into committing himself to signing the controversial law, simply stating that “it will be signed”.

When pressed for an answer, the President said that one has to “wait and see”.

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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.

Speculation as to whether Vella, who holds conservative views on such matters, will be signing the law continues.

Last week, the government appointed a new Acting President, Frank Bezzina, who will replace Vella each time he is away.

An Acting President can sign laws as a serving President if the latter is away from the country.

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.

In 2019, President Vella had also highlighted his reservations about the extent to which the legal use of cannabis should be extended beyond the grounds of treatment. But in December 2021 he signed the law legalising cannabis for recreational use.

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