De­fend­ing life

As Malta is now the only coun­try in the EU where abor­tion is illegal, the pro­mo­tion of abor­tion as a woman’s right is now be­ing pushed for­ward with in­creas­ing in­ten­sity.

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - DEBATE & ANALYSIS - Klaus Vella Bar­don

One can­not say that abor­tion is a taboo sub­ject as dif­fer­ent points of view have cer­tainly been aired in the lo­cal press and so­cial me­dia. How­ever, as a Pro-life ac­tivist, I am ex­tremely wary of cer­tain so-called de­bates and dis­cus­sions which, in re­al­ity, too of­ten prove to be no more than a smoke screen to mis­lead pub­lic opin­ion and usu­ally favour a neg­a­tive agenda.

This re­al­ity was also driven home by the in­tro­duc­tion of the morn­ing af­ter pill (MAP) in De­cem­ber 2016. Those cam­paign­ing for the in­tro­duc­tion of the MAP were dis­grace­fully dis­hon­est, mak­ing false as­sur­ances that it was not an abor­ti­fa­cient but only a con­tra­cep­tive.

More in­ci­sive jour­nal­ism would have ex­posed the shock­ing fact that to cir­cum­vent the il­le­gal­ity of abor­tion in Malta, cer­tain abor­ti­fa­cient MAPs were le­gal­ized by the Gov­ern­ment Med­i­cal Author­ity on the false premise that they were just emergency con­tra­cep­tives.

This raised a firestorm of protests from Pro-Life NGOs which chal­lenged this spu­ri­ous claim. A court case which is still in progress was in­sti­tuted to chal­lenge this false dec­la­ra­tion.

One should also not give too much weight to the fact that women rarely ad­ver­tise that they had gone through an abor­tion. This is hardly sur­pris­ing and is not only be­cause abor­tion is illegal in Malta. Ter­mi­nat­ing a preg­nancy is not some­thing women brag about and an­nounce to the four winds, ir­re­spec­tive of whether abor­tion is le­gal­ized or not.

Mean­while, the un­born that face the prospect of ter­mi­na­tion, do not have the lux­ury to de­bate the finer points of abor­tion. Not only do they have no voice in the mat­ter, they face a stark and glar­ingly ob­vi­ous out­come. For them, de­cid­ing on the mat­ter of abor­tion is a case of ‘to be, or not to be’ or rather, and more aptly, ‘to live, or to die’.

Malta has good rea­son to be proud of its pro-life cre­den­tials. The fact that many women seek an abor­tion overseas should not be used as jus­ti­fi­ca­tion to le­gal­ize what is, in re­al­ity, an ab­hor­rent crime – the killing of the un­born. If peo­ple re­sort to money laun­der­ing, should one there­fore in­sist that it should be le­gal­ized?

I there­fore find it rather dis­tress­ing that a women’s NGO seeks to ad­dress the prob­lem of un­wanted preg­nan­cies by ad­vo­cat­ing the killing of the in­no­cent and de­fence­less un­born – those who need and de­serve the max­i­mum pro­tec­tion and sup­port in what we claim to be a civ­i­lized so­ci­ety.

It is for this rea­son that so­ci­ety should sup­port women trapped in un­ex­pected or un­wanted preg­nan­cies. Our NGO puts words into ac­tion by do­ing its ut­most to im­prove ser­vices to help women in these dis­tress­ing sit­u­a­tions.

Sadly, in Malta, there are those who are brazen enough to ped­dle the bla­tant lie that preg­nant women are de­nied life-sav­ing treat­ment if it places the child’s life at risk. This is ab­so­lutely not the case. The de­ci­sion whether to

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