Sunday, 19 August 2012

Times: Pullicino Orlando wants details of Bill - Call for information about the key Bills
Saturday, July 21, 2012 by Kurt Sansone

Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando wants to see the details of the Cohabitation Bill as he starts setting the terms for his collaboration with the government.

The newly-independent MP, who resigned from the Nationalist Party on Thursday, said yesterday the cohabitation and embryo protection Bills were notable items on his agenda.

“The Cohabitation Bill has long been promised and I want to know the details because all we have until now is the title,” he said.

Dr Pullicino Orlando did not elaborate but, earlier this year, he had declared his support for gay marriage and insisted that the Cohabitation Bill should, at least, provide for same-sex partnerships. The issue is expected to be contentious for the PN.

The MP no longer forms part of the PN parliamentary group. In an unorthodox arrangement, Dr Pullicino Orlando said he would collaborate with the government on issues mentioned in the 2008 electoral programme but expected to be consulted on other matters.

His second priority issue is a Bill that regulates assisted procreation for infertile couples. The government has tabled the title of the Bill but no details have been divulged yet.

The Embryo Protection Bill is intended to regulate in-vitro fertilisation but its title has raised concerns that it may be medically restrictive.

Without entering into much detail, Dr Pullicino Orlando insisted he could not accept a situation where IVF was not available at Mater Dei, despite the hospital being equipped to carry out the process.

“I also cannot accept a situation where IVF is carried out by private clinics in an unregulated manner.

“My interest is to have a law that fully protects the embryo,” Dr Pullicino Orlando said.

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