Saturday, 17 March 2012

Times: IVF, cohabitation laws in the ‘coming weeks’
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The first reading of laws on cohabitation and in vitro fertilisation should take place in the coming weeks, according to Justice and Family Minister Chris Said.
The lives of hundreds of Maltese couples are being affected negatively by our procrastination
- Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando
He was responding to a parliamentary question by Nationalist MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando who last year presented a divorce Bill that was approved by a referendum and eventually enacted.
Dr Pullicino Orlando now seems to have set his sightS on two other laws that liberal factions have long been awaiting.
The cohabitation law is expected to give unmarried couples, including gay couples and siblings, rights to prevent exploitation in the event that one of the partners kicks the other out.
The IVF law will regulate the sector when it comes to issues such as embryo freezing. To date, artificial fertilisation is allowed in private hospitals but the law would enable couples to obtain the service from Mater Dei Hospital, which already has all the equipment necessary. Dr Said told Dr Pullicino Orlando the drafting of the laws had reached their “final phase” after the ministry evaluated the various contributions that had been received.
“It is hoped that the first reading of the draft law will be presented to the House of Representatives in the coming weeks,” he said with regard to both issues.
When contacted, Dr Pullicino Orlando said he too hoped the matter would be resolved in the coming weeks because the government last year committed itself to move the laws.
“The Nationalist Party has been promising to introduce a cohabitation law since 1998. The lives of hundreds of Maltese couples are being affected negatively by our procrastination,” he said.

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