Simon Busuttil Clarifies His Radical Comment During Tense IVF Debate
'Remember, we are legislators - we are not gods'
Former leader of the Nationalist Party and current MP Simon Busuttil has called out the Labour Party for what he called "a complete distortion" of the truth.
Dr Busuttil had spoken in Parliament during the second reading of the government's proposed IVF bill. Calling on the government not to rush the bill, he closed his intervention with a radical statement.
"Remember, we are legislators. We are not gods. We cannot do things that are bigger than us, like the right to have a child when neither nature nor God gives it to you. If we do this, we would be turning ourselves from legislators, into gods. And if would do that, we would be false gods," he said.
Dr Busuttil has clarified his statement, saying it was not made in relation to IVF, but made in relation to surrogacy.
The heartfelt appeal @presidentMT for a dignified parliamentary debate on the sensitive subject of embryo freezing and surrogacy fell on deaf ears. @JosephMuscat_JM’s @ONE_news_Malta were not able to report my speech in Parliament without distorting it beyond recognition. pic.twitter.com/zhlD8muZif— Simon Busuttil (@SimonBusuttil) May 9, 2018
"As a politician I am one of the most liberal MPs in the PN, and proud to have have allowed the party to vote for gay marriage," Dr Busuttil said to Lovin Malta.
"But I am against surrogacy, which, all feminists agree, amounts to nothing short of exploitation of women. In fact, surrogacy is being banned in countries like Sweden, regardless of whether it is commercial or altruistic," he said.
Dr Busuttil likened surrogacy to someone "renting their womb".
He refuted the idea that he was discriminating against anyone, least of all same sex couples, and said he was against surrogacy both for straight couples as well as same sex couples. He said the idea that he was being discriminatory "didn't hold water at all".
Dr Busuttil reiterated his support for the current IVF law, and said that the government should look at egg freezing instead of embryo freezing since the country has already invested so much into faculties for egg freezing.
"Just because you are in favour of IVF doesn't mean we should have a free-for-all - no, there are limits," he said.
He also it was a shame that those who were against the government's IVF bill were being painted as being anti-IVF.
The Labour Party issued a statement saying that with this statement, Dr Busuttil's insensitivity has reached its peak. They condemning Dr Busuttil's attitude as unacceptable and insensitive, contrasting it with how PL MPs "understand the infertility difficulties that Maltese couples face".
The proposed bill in question proposes altruistic, not commercial, surrogacy, and Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne has pledged to embark on a public consultation process to before deciding whether or not it will be included in the final law.
The full audio of the second reading can be found by following this link. Dr Busuttil starts speaking at 1:01:40, and the comment is made at the closing of his speech at 1:31:20.