The Labour Party has called for a “free and mature” discussion on abortion, arguing that this debate should be led by society and not politicians.
After independent MP Marlene Farrugia filed a private members’ bill calling for the decriminalisation of abortion, the PL convened its parliamentary group to discuss its stance.
In a statement issued after this discussion, the PL criticised Farrugia for filing the bill but refused to state whether its MPs will vote in favour or against it.
“Discussion on sensitive topics like abortion should take place by society, in a free and mature manner, and shouldn’t be stifled by a motion like this,” the PL said.
“Discussions shouldn’t be monopolised by parliamentary political parties and should be based on honesty and respect towards different opinions, without sensationalism or condemnation and against stigma.”
“The Prime Minister already has clearly expressed his opinion against the legalisation of abortion, but he still believes that he should closely follow what society is saying.”
In contrast, the Nationalist Party has come out strongly against Farrugia’s bill, arguing that its stance that life starts from conception means it can never be in favour of decriminalising abortion.
Malta is one of the last countries on the planet with a blanket ban on abortion. It should be made clear that decriminalisation does not mean legalisation. Currently, abortion is a criminal offence and people who either receive, procure, or conduct the medical procedure are subject to jail time.