Nationalist MP Therese Comidini Cachia and a handful of other PN MPs have spoken out about the upcoming vote on the motion to cancel a legal notice allowing leave for IVF treatment to lesbians and infertile women.
Comidini Cachia and a few other anonymous MPs have said that they will not vote against their conscience in today’s parliamentary debate, and are willing to vote against the party’s motion.
The motion seeks to disallow lesbian or infertile employees from accessing 60 hours of paid leave plus an additional 40 hours while undertaking IVF treatment abroad.
The PN’s motion was filed on the day that Adrian Delia was sworn in as an MP, making it his first act in parliament as the Leader of the PN.
However, some MPs are now saying they are “morally” against the PN’s official stance of opposing this leave for lesbian or infertile parents.
One MP who wanted to remain anonymous has said that “This is definitely a sensitive issue for us as a party, because it is a motion submitted by our own party. However I, along with others in the group, disagree in the strongest possible terms.”
Another said that supporting the motion “is something I just will not do. I don’t care what the party line is, to me this is a matter of conscience, and I will vote according to my conscience.”
Comidini Cachia this morning took to social media to clarify that her vote is “not a vote against the Leader. Indeed, I have found support from my colleagues in the Parliamentary Group, including the Leader, because we are a group that understand each other.”
This split comes after Adrian Delia had stressed the importance in giving MPs a free vote in Parliament when voting on moral matters. He had repeated this both to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat as well as to his own party.
However, Delia has said made it clear to members of his parliamentary group that he does not see this vote, which would give Maltese women a chance of starting their own families when they previously could not, as a matter of conscience.