Government preventing real and fruitful discussion on IVF

Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party said that government should stop procrastinating on the IVF issue, and should immediately publish the draft law on the subject. All this procrastination just goes to show that Lawrence Gonzi is once again avoiding issues which can cause him and his party embarrassment.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson said: “While Lawrence Gonzi’s party is fast to issue press statements and organize press conferences on petty issues and engage in the usual style of tribal politics, the party and government has still not made its’ position on IVF clear and has abandoned couples who face the problem of infertility to their own devices. It is cynically preventing discussion on the IVF law by not publishing the draft. The State should not be held hostage by the fundamentalist lobby within the Nationalist Party which resorts to confessional tactics to demonise those who are for a fair and ethical policy on IVF. Regulation of dangerous practices and provision of this health service by public hospitals should be top priority.”

Ralph Cassar, AD Secretary General, said: “The government’s procrastination in publishing the draft IVF legislation is irresponsible and is letting vulnerable people be subjected to the irresponsible and dangerous practice of implanting 3 or more fertilised eggs – with the risk of dangerous multiple pregnancies, putting both the mothers’ and babies lives at risk.  The risks of death with triple births, often premature births, increases eighteen fold, together with a high risk of cerebral palsy.”

“The freezing of fertilised eggs – scientifically the term used is embryos – is necessary to prevent and stop the life-threatening practices currently going on uncontrolled and unregulated. Contrary to reports in the media of comments from people who it seems are not concerned about the risks of multiple pregnancies, IVF is no different from the ‘natural’ fertilization process – in which fertilised eggs which are not implanted in the womb are lost – without anyone ever realizing.”

“Today’s pastoral letter by the Bishops makes certain assumptions on the content of the IVF law. The bishops mention fostering and adoption by people who choose to raise children in need of care and love, which is of course laudable, the issue of IVF is however a separate issue. The irony is that nobody can really comment and contribute to the discussion on the IVF law since it is still under wraps,” concluded Cassar.