Former Labour candidate Lynn Faure Chircop has proposed a referendum on the decriminalisation of abortion and has said she agrees in principle with such a change to the law.
“The people outside who are voicing their concerns all have different opinions, everyone is relevant and everyone’s opinion is valid,” Faure Chircop said when interviewed on Lovin Daily this morning. “Some people are suggesting a referendum and I personally don’t think it would be a bad idea.”
If Malta goes down the referendum route, it will follow in the footsteps of Ireland, which voted in favour of abortion legalisation in 2018, and Gibraltar, which is set to hold a similar vote in June.
Independent MP Marlene Farrugia recently brought the taboo topic to the national agenda when she presented a bill calling for the decriminalisation of abortion. While the PN has pledged that its MPs will vote against it, the PL has yet to take a stance other than warning Farrugia’s motion will only end up “stifling public debate” on abortion.
Faure Chircop said it’s tough to say how she would have voted on Farrugia’s bill had she been an MP, although she said she’s in favour of abortion decriminalisation in principle.
“I agree with there being a legal structure which gives an opportunity to vulnerable people and people who are suffering and a way out for people who have a justified cause,” she said.
The former candidate argued that the concept of decriminalisation isn’t about giving women the “right” to have an abortion but rather about “giving people an opportunity for an alternative option when there is no other choice.”
“Pro-choice and pro-life are secondary in my concept of thinking, I look at life as being sacred and [believe] it must be preserved… but on the other hand, as an advocate, I wouldn’t want to see one person neglected when there is no other choice.”
“But we have to explore the choices; we can’t let vulnerable people take a decision without abiding by our obligation to provide any other solution available.”