For immediate release
6th December 2022
MALTA: 20,000 people take to the streets to support pro-life laws as Government tables bill to introduce abortion.
20,000 people (4%of the population) have taken to the streets and more than 24,000 people have signed a petition urging the Government of Malta to abandon the bill it has presented to Parliament in favour of an alternative amendment clause that was written by 81 leaders and academics in medicine, law and ethics.
Malta’s current laws protect the right to life of the unborn child, as well and ensuring mothers are provided with all the medical care they need, resulting in zero maternal mortalities in the last 10 years. Malta’s doctors are protected by the law in cases when their actions result in the death of the unborn child, when they are acting to save the life of a mother.
Malta’s main pro-life group, Life Network Foundation, has condemned the Government abortion Bill, which, if passed, will allow abortion to take place in Malta for non-life threatening reasons, and in doing so has joined a group of 81 academics, 450 doctors, 44 institutions, the Medical Association of Malta, and Maltese Association of Psychiatry all of whom are against the introduction of the Government’s Bill.
In the Expert Position Paper, some of Malta’s leading medics, lawyers, ethicists, and academics have proposed a change to the wording of the Bill that would ensure that it is limited to codifying into law the current practice in Malta, that if the ending of a life of an unborn child is the unfortunate result of life saving medical intervention for the mother, then no crime is committed. This proposal ensures against the unintentional introduction of abortion to Malta.
The Government’s wording of the Bill goes much further than simply codifying current practice into law. Instead, the proposed amendment includes legalising abortion to protect the health of a pregnant woman who has medical complications that “could” put her “health in serious jeopardy”.
This health provision in the Bill is very similar to the health provisions that have been used in abortion legislation in the UK and abortion legislation in Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. In these countries, these health provisions have allowed for widespread abortion on demand. Statistics from the UK The vast majority of the over ten million abortions that have happened in the UK since the Abortion Act was introduced in 1967 have been allowed under this same ‘health’ clause in the law.
Life Network Foundation supports the suggested wording of the bill proposed in the Expert Position Paper, as this protects babies, mothers, and doctors, but does not allow for abortion on demand:
Expert proposal in English:
No crime is committed under article 241(2) or article 243 when the death or bodily harm of an unborn child results from a medical intervention conducted with the aim of saving the life of the mother where there is a real and substantial risk of loss of the mother’s life from a physical illness.
Dr Miriam Sciberras, Chairman of Life Network Foundation said:
“The Bill in its current form would allow abortion on demand to take place in Malta.”
“If the Bill becomes law, Malta will go from being the only country in Europe with full protection for the unborn child to legalising abortion.”
“We are calling on the Government to urgently change the wording of the Bill to adopt the recommended changes outlined in the Expert position paper by leading medics, lawyers, ethicists, and academics.”
Life Network Foundation(LNF) runs three units working in support, education and advocacy. LNF also manages a helpline for women who need support and runs a home for women in a crisis pregnancy situation who have nowhere to go.
Life Network Foundation is running the campaign “Inti Tista Ssalvani”, which translates as “You Can Save Me”