Malta’s anti-abortion movement is slowly starting to flex its muscle following the emergence of pro-choice groups pushing the issue to the forefront of the national debate, with doctors and politicians making their strong stances against the practice known.
After Doctors for Choice launched a little over two weeks ago, over 500 doctors are banding together to form the similarly titled Doctors for Life, according to iNews.
Meanwhile, Moviment Patrijotti Maltin MEP candidate Dr Naged Megally has also reported the outspoken spokesperson of Doctors For Choice, Dr Alexander Clayman to the Medical Council.
“Doctors save lives, they do not kill babies,” Doctors For Life were quoted as saying
Tensions are also reportedly beginning to flare up within Mater Dei Hospital as the debate gathers momentum.
After reporting on the issue, multiple sources within the hospital have told Lovin Malta that a petition confirming a medical professionals pro-life stance was in fact being passed around as early as last year. Many described a sense of undue pressure being placed upon them to sign the document.
“I don’t think my position on abortion should be known by my colleagues or has any relevance to my skills as a doctor,” a source who is actually pro-life told Lovin Malta.
The debate surrounding abortion has also begun to simmer on a mainstream political level
President George Vella has said he would step down if made to sign a bill. PN Leader Adrian Delia has also used abortion to launch a witch hunt against the government, despite Muscat’s administration repeatedly saying that they would not introduce the practice in Malta and has no mandate to do so.
Delia has described the upcoming MEP election as a “referendum on abortion” warning the government that the government is secretly in favour of abortion. Earlier today, Dr Delia took a step back from this position, saying “a Labour victory won’t mean Malta is in favour, however it will mean we’re one step closer towards legalising abortion”.
It should be noted that Malta’s Labour Party did actually sign a manifesto from the Party of the European Socialists declaring that the practice should be legalised across the EU if they are elected to the head of the Commission; an admittedly highly unlikely scenario.
Questions now remain as to which direction the debate may be heading. Doctors For Choice have made it clear that while their long term goals are to legalise full reproductive rights, they are more focused on finding short term solutions to Malta’s “draconian” laws when it comes to criminalising the practice. However, with an evident lack of political, social, and professional will to address the issue the current debate may just count for nought.
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