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IVF bill 'discriminatory' - MGRM

The Embryo Protection Act is blatantly discriminatory on the basis of sexual orientation and inherently homophobic in nature, the Malta Gay Rights Movement said.

It said in a statement that by excluding same sex couples and single persons from its definition of prospective parents, it breached basic human rights principles such as the right to found a family.

States should take all necessary measures to ensure the right to found a family, including through access to adoption or assisted procreation (including donor insemination), without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

States should also take all necessary measures to ensure that any obligation, entitlement, privilege, obligation or benefit available to different-sex unmarried partners is equally available to same-sex unmarried partners.

This principle, it said, has been upheld in a number of European Court of Human Rights judgements.

Enacting legislation that would deny medical treatment on the basis of sexual orientation would constitute a worrying precedent that has far reaching implications and engenders serious doubts in the minds of lesbian and gay citizens on this government’s commitment to equality, the MGRM said.

It said that the criminalisation of sperm and egg donation had nothing to do with the protection of the embryo and was based on a restrictive model of the family which no longer applied in today’s world.

MGRM reiterated that it was not the role of the state to determine who could or could not become a parent and the introduction of this act would constitute an unjustified intrusion in the private lives of individuals.

MGRM coordinator Gabi Calleja said:

“It is truly shameful that LGBT persons will be forced to access reproductive health services in other countries at their own expense while subsidising the health services available to their heterosexual counterparts with their tax contributions, once again reinforcing the notion of second class citizenship.”

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