Malta’s pro-choice doctors condemned Therese Comodini Cachia, the woman who has been proposed by several PN MPs to be the new Opposition leader, following her recent comment against abortion.
Comodini Cachia received backlash online by anti-abortion commenters following speculation that she may be pro-choice.
“I am not in favour of abortion. Is that clear enough?!” Comodini Cachia wrote in response.
Doctors For Choice Malta called out the attacks against her but condemned the MP’s reply.
“A woman comes close to securing a significant political post in Malta and the “pro-life” bombard her because she just might be in favour of women’s rights. What’s worse? She responds with a tone-deaf platitude. This is the level of the ‘abortion debate’ in Malta,” they wrote.
Francesca Fenech Conti, founder of Women for Women, Malta’s biggest online group for women, said she was disappointed by Comodini Cacha’s stance.
“It seems she has already given in to pressure from conservative elements of her party that refuse to even discuss an issue that is extremely important to thousands of women that she could potentially represent,” she wrote.
However, Comodini Cachia, a human rights lawyer, had raised concerns about the situation of Maltese women because of the lack abortion access in the past.
In 2010, she said that the European court’s decisions on women who terminate their pregnancies for health reasons have raised questions on the fate of Maltese women.
“One may wonder whether [the] State would be fulfilling its obligations in respecting the life of the woman and the family life of her partner and other children where there is clear evidence that pregnancy would jeopardise her life and health,” Dr Comodini Cachia said.
Women in Malta who terminate their pregnancies can face up to three years in prison.