IVF changes are going to be debated “in the next days” by PN members of parliament.

It will be left to the parliamentary group affiliated with the Nationalist Party to decide what position it will take on IVF plans that involve genetic testing of embryos for significant inherited conditions.

In the next few days, members of parliament affiliated with the Nationalist Party will get together in order to reach a consensus on the position they would take on proposed amendments to the law governing in-vitro fertilization, one of which involves the testing of embryos for genetic defects.

“The PN parliamentary group will meet soon days to consider the proposed adjustments,” a spokeswoman for the party told MaltaToday. “The meeting will take place to debate the proposed amendments.”

The laws governing in vitro fertilization (IVF) were modified for the final time in 2018, when the government made it easier for single and lesbian women to receive infertility treatment, including embryo freezing as an integral part of the treatment process and authorized the donation of sperm and eggs.

On the grounds that this was a matter of morality, the leader of the PN at the time, Adrian Delia, had allowed his members of parliament to vote whatever they saw fit in the parliamentary setting.

In situations in which prospective parents have a history of significant inherited illnesses or sickness, the new changes that were proposed by Health Minister Chris Fearne last week make it feasible for pre-implantation genetic testing for monogenetic disorders (PGT-M) to take place.

Because embryos identified to be harboring the faulty genes are either rejected, given up for a study, or kept frozen indefinitely, some people find the practice to be morally questionable. The plan put up by the government says that these embryos would be stored in a frozen state, to prevent any potential conflict with Malta’s stringent anti-abortion statute.

Fearne said that the legislative discussion on the IVF modifications is scheduled to begin the following week when she was a guest on TVM News Plus’ Xtra on Monday night. The government is hoping that the legislative process may be wrapped up before lawmakers go on their summer break.

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