The Malta Independent 10 April 2020, Friday

Abortion: Uncomfortable to constantly have to explain Malta’s position– Vella

Malta Independent Monday, 24 March 2014, 21:10 Last update: about 7 years ago

Foreign Affairs Minister George Vella today said that Malta’s anti-abortion stance frequently crops up in international fora. He said that it is at times “uncomfortable” to constantly have to explain the country’s anti-abortion stance.

Speaking in Parliament, Dr Vella said that Malta’s position is clear, and the EU cannot force the country to legalise abortion.

A protocol in this regard was annexed to Malta’s EU accession treaty giving it legal certainty that EU law, present or future, cannot change Maltese law on abortion.

Last year, Ireland adopted a law allowing abortion for the first time in limited cases where the mother’s life is at risk, making Malta the only European country without a life-saving abortion law.

Although abortion is illegal according to Maltese law, the authorities do allow for abortions in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, as in reality doctors observe the principle of “double effect” in Malta.

Vatican happy with settlement on ecclesiastical tribunal 

On the agreement reached with the Vatican on the ecclesiastical tribunal, Dr Vella said that both sides were happy with the “amicable settlement,” with both parties having agreed that there was an anomaly which needed to be addressed.

Prior to the agreement, civil courts were subservient to the ecclesiastical tribunal over marriage annulments, which often led to lengthy delays.

PN deputy leader for Party Affairs Beppe Fenech Adami said that the Opposition will vote in favour of the changes in a bill amending the legislation. 

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