Watch: ‘There Are A Lot Of Silent Pro-Choice Supporters,’ Activist Says In Response To Major Pro-Life Demonstration
Malta has been entrapped in abortion discourse these last few weeks and both sides of the coin have spoken up and endorsed their opinions.
More specifically, the pro-life camp has held demonstrations and vigils with allegedly tens of thousands of attendees, a lot more people than previous pro-choice protests in Malta have seen despite a large community on the island in favour of less restrictive abortion laws.
This begged the question: why is there such a disparity in the number of attendees when comparing pro-choice and pro-life rallies?
So, we sat down with Lara Dimitrijevic, prominent lawyer and founder of Women’s Rights Foundation to ask her exactly that, along with a host of other questions spanning through different yet related topics.
“There are a lot of silent supporters,” Dimitrijevic said.
“Let’s not forget that abortion remains a topic that makes it difficult for one to publicly state or voice their opinion.”
Dimitrijevic went on to recount when she and other activists were campaigning for the introduction of the morning after pill in Malta in 2016.
“Women had contacted us and said ‘listen I support you but I cannot say this publicly because my job would be threatened, or I would have issues with my family’ and here we’re only talking about the morning after pill, let alone a situation like this that has been put into the discourse of abortion – which I say it is not.”
Dimitrijevic hailed the turnout of 500 or so people at Malta’s second pro-choice rally as a major success, but said she was sure the number would rise to thousands if everyone with the opportunity or luxury to voice their opinion were able to attend.
While Dimitrijevic was sceptical about the claim that the reent pro-life rally had 20,000 attendees, she acknowledged the discrepancy and urged everyone to consider the people that were present at the protest.
“There could have been situations where if people didn’t attend, they would’ve faced repercussions due to assumptions that they’re supporting the other camp.”
During the interview, she said she found the resistance to the bill hard to understand considering it is simply clarifying an already practised medical procedure and is not legalising abortion.
She insisted that the legal amendment isn’t a monumental change in the law, but rather a clarification that makes the saving of pregnant people’s lives through pregnancy termination a procedure without legal implications.
It would therefore safeguard doctors and prevent women from having their health descend into very dangerous conditions while also saving them from enduring traumatising yet unnecessary situations.
If you are a silent supporter that would like to share their story anonymously, reach out to [email protected]