Contraception and the morning-after-pill should be available free of charge to everyone over the age of 16 so as to reduce the demand for abortion, Opposition leader Bernard Grech has said.
“Let’s provide tools to reduce the problem and let’s stop treating sexual health as a taboo topic,” Grech said in an interview today.
The PN leader reiterated his opposition to a bill presented by independent MP Marlene Farrugia which calls for the decriminalisation of abortion, arguing that it goes against the party’s principle that “life has value from conception till death”.
However, he curiously said he doesn’t believe that women who get caught carrying out should be punished with jail time, a punishment which is envisaged by the current legislation.
“We don’t want women to go to jail, we want to protect life,” he said.
Although Grech didn’t specify what punishment he thinks should apply to women who carry out abortions, he made it clear that he believes there should be some kind of penalty.
“The law isn’t there to punish people but to act as a deterrent,” he said. “If I park badly I’ll get a ticket, not to punish me but to stop me from parking badly again. This is the principle – the law acts as a deterrent and in fact women aren’t being jailed for carrying out abortions.”
“Abortions are taking place but the law still acts as a deterrent. We want to protect life, because without life there’s nothing left.”
“However, we cannot close our eyes to the realities of women who tell us they want our policies to give them more attention. I clearly said in my leadership campaign that I want to listen to the challenges faced by women seeking abortions, and I still want to listen to them because we want to offer solutions to help them.”
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