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‘Abortion Just One Facet Of Sexual Health’: Maltese Law Students Breakdown Their Ambitious Policy Paper

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Whatever your opinion on abortion, there’s no doubt that the debate in Malta has developed immensely in the last two years. From a hushed topic at the dinner table to a wave of pro-choice groups spurring up, it’s no longer a topic we can sweep under the rug.

The latest group to give their take to the discussion is university law group GħSL, who have called for its decriminalisation, among a whole list of bold sexual health reforms for Malta’s decade-old policy.

“We wanted to give an objective perspective. We’re studying to be lawyers so we had to remain impartial and loyal to the facts,” GħSL secretary-general Maya Spiteri Dalli explained on Lovin Daily.

The result is a 154-page research document that takes both sides of the debate into consideration. It was drafted by students and peer-reviewed by law experts.

GħSL’s policy document most notably calls for the removal of articles that enable Malta’s complete ban on abortion. But that’s just one crux of it – proposals for free contraceptives, free sanitary pads, revamped sexual health education were also explored.

“You can’t just talk about abortion on its own without mentioning other facets connected to it under the umbrella of sexual health,” GħSL president Matthew Charles Zammit added.

“We also pointed out the need for journalists and political commenters to ensure that discourse is scientifically factual. We acknowledge the fact that emotional beliefs have tainted the discussion,” the student continued.

This isn’t the first controversial topic the university group has tackled. Previous policy papers have tackled issues like euthanasia, adoption and human trafficking, so dissecting the abortion issue was a natural step for the student lawyers.

“We hope legislators can use our proposals as a setting stone for any possible bills on sexual health,” Spiteri Dalli said.

Despite the polarization of the abortion issue, the duo said the reaction to their paper was mostly positive.

“We have received some pushback and they have every right to disagree. We’re open to a healthy discussion. We know we also have to listen to our counterparts,” Zammit finished.

You can read the whole policy paper here.

What do you make of their proposals?

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Sam is an over-caffeinated artist fighting for a cooler and freer world, one article, song or impromptu protest at a time. Hit her up with thought-provoking ideas or dreams at [email protected] or @princess.wonderful on Instagram.

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