Labour MEP candidate Cyrus Engerer has urged the Maltese government to legalise surrogacy, warning the current state of play is discriminatory against those who cannot afford to travel aboard.
In a campaign rally in Ħaż-Żabbar last night, Engerer referred to a recent podcast by Lovin Malta CEO Christian Peregin in which he interviewed Clayton Mercieca, the father of a child born through surrogacy.
In the interview, Mercieca recounted how he and his partner had travelled to the United States, where his partner’s sperm was used to fertilise a woman’s egg and the subsequent embryo transferred to the womb of a second woman.
They managed to register their son as a Maltese citizen but had to overcome some bureaucratic obstacles to do so.
In his speech, Engerer said civil liberties shouldn’t be a luxury only available to people who can afford to travel and spend an extended period in a foreign country.
“Not everyone affords to live for more than a month abroad, over and above the costs needed to undergo the procedure,” he said. “Civil Liberties must be available for all, whether a person is poor or rich, with regulations that make sense and that safeguard the interests of all parties involved.”
The government had initially proposed surrogacy as part of an updated IVF bill last year but ended up backtracking, with Health Minister Chris Fearne pledging it will be discussed in a separate law
Now, Engerer, who has campaigned for civil unions, gay marriage and the legalisation of cannabis for personal use, has turned his focus to surrogacy as the next civil liberty to obtain.
He was endorsed last night by Equality Minister Helena Dalli, who had appointed him as the first chairperson of the Maltese Consultative Council on LGBT+ rights.
“His drive, his zeal, and his stamina are what will make Cyrus Engerer an excellent representative in the European Parliament,” she said.