Source Malta Today The Life Network Foundation says new law will create ethical and legal problems for children born from in-vitro fertilisation
A pro-life group has raised concerns over proposed changes to the Embryo Protection Act, which it says gives short shrift to the legal and ethical issues involved.
Life Network Foundation chairperson, Miriam Sciberras, was critical of changes that will change the definition of prospective parents, the introduction of anonymous gamete donation and embryo freezing.
Sciberras also criticised the proposal to start a consultation process on altruistic surrogacy. She said surrogacy turned women into objects and ignored the importance of the bond that develops during pregnancy between the mother and the child.
The wider definition of parents would allow, among others, single women to make use of in-vitro fertilisation treatment. The changes also propose the introduction of anonymous sperm and egg donation.
Embryo freezing and gamete donation are included in the changes being proposed by the government for the Embryo Protection Act • The first reading of the Bill will be held tonight
Changes to the law regulating in-vitro fertilisation will allow embryo freezing on condition that prospective parents agree to give up unclaimed embryos for adoption, MaltaToday has learnt.
Prospective parents will be issued with a ‘permit’ by the regulator to have their embryos frozen, which can then be extended every five years until the woman is 43.
Sources said this will give the couple ample time to use any frozen embryos but if they decide not to extend the permit, or the woman reaches 43, the Embryo Protection Authority will be able to give the embryos up for adoption.
The introduction of embryo freezing and adoption, access to IVF for same-sex couples and single persons, as well as a public consultation on surrogacy are the highlights of a new IVF bill presented this afternoon, by Health Minister Chris Fearne.
Addressing a news conference at Parliament, the deputy prime minister said the bill had been unanimously approved by the Labour Party.
He said that until the final few months of the Gonzi administration in 2012, there was no regulation of IVF.
“The 2012 law was a good move, but time is ripe to move further ahead,” he said.
He explained that between 18 to 20 per cent of couples faced infertility problems.
Under this bill IVF will be also be offered to same sex couples as well as single women.