Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer was the only Maltese MEP to vote in favour of a report on women’s sexual and reproductive health, which calls for safe and legal abortion to be available to all citizens across the European Union.
The report, drawn up by Croatian MEP Predrag Fred Matic, was approved by the European Parliament earlier today with 378 votes in favour, 255 votes against and with 32 abstentions.
While Engerer was the only MEP to vote in favour of the report, his Labour colleagues Alfred Sant and Josianne Cutajar abstained.
Nationalist MEPs Roberta Metsola and David Casa, as well as Labour MEP Alex Agius Saliba voted against the report.
In the run-up to the vote, Engerer said that the report went beyond just abortion and it was unfortunate that this is only aspect of it that had been discussed in Malta.
The report notes that the procedure is not available in some EU countries – primarily Malta – leading women to have to seek underground solutions, which according to the report is a violation of their human rights.
The report’s adoption by the European Parliament was welcomed by the sexual health advocacy group Doctors For Choice.
It thanked Engerer for his vote, while also thanking Sant and Cutajar “for at least not voting against this important report”.
As for Saliba, Metsola and Casa, the group encouraged the MEPs to “listen to, and consider, the plight of women and girls in Malta who have needed to access abortion care, before you decide to vote against their rights”.
Malta remains the only country in the EU to completely outlaw the medical procedure, with it having also negotiated an abortion protocol into its EU Accession Treaty ensuring that EU law, present or future, would not be able to change Maltese laws on the subject.
This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
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