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IVF Bill approved as Opposition drops amendment

The IVF Bill cleared the committee stage of the parliamentary process today, with the Opposition saying that it did not want to hold-up the process and risk all the work being lost if parliament was dissolved once the Budget was presented. The Bill was later also given a third reading.

During the debate this afternoon, Labour MP Owen Bonnici withdrew a proposed Opposition amendment which would have allowed surrogacy in exceptional cases, such as when as when a woman whose eggs would have been frozen was suddenly incapacitated. The Opposition had suggested that in such cases, the woman should be able to choose a surrogate mother.

At one stage the Opposition suggested a postponement of the vote for further talks with the government, but Dr Bonnici later withdrew the amendment, with Labour MP George Vella saying he feared that if the conclusion of the debate was delayed, all the work done would be wasted if the House was dissolved.

Earlier in the debate, as expected, Health Minister Joseph Cassar moved an amendment which retains the number of eggs which may be implanted during IVF treatment at two, but which makes an exception to allow the implantation of three eggs in exceptional cases, such as the age of the prospective mother.

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