Updated 4.05pm - Added Gift of Life statement

President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca has offered to mediate in the debate on proposed amendments to the Embryo Protection Act, saying she was concerned by the polarised debates currently under way.

In a statement, she said that the debates "do not constructively contribute to a holistic understanding of the human, social, ethical and medical implications at stake".

Read: Labour's Parliamentary group united behind IVF Bill

"IVF treatment is a very delicate subject that has to be discussed in a serene environment that balances the heartache childless couples face with the sensitive ethical issues connected with embryos’ rights," she said, appealing for calm and a longer period of reflection to enable voices to be heard.

Read: PN to allow free vote on new IVF law

She has invited parliamentarians, civil society and all stakeholders to come together around a table to ensure that the discussion covered ethical and moral considerations with scientific expertise.

Gift of Life welcomes intervention

The Gift of Life Foundation welcomed the President's initiative and urged MPs to "heed her wise advice", the group, which is staunchly opposed to embryo freezing proposals, said. 

"We are hopeful that as a result the issue will be discussed with greater care and consideration from all stakeholders before anything is ever proposed for discussion in parliament." 

Read: Changes to IVF laws would amount to 'genocide', says PD

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