The Malta Independent 23 August 2019, Friday

Opinion: Do we need to have a discussion about abortion? - Tonio Fenech

Tonio Fenech Wednesday, 20 March 2019, 09:24 Last update: about 5 months ago

The Maltese population is clearly against abortion. Only last year, MaltaToday published a survey showing that 95% of the population is against; the four political parties, Labour, Nationalists, PD and AD are clearly opposed; so who is really asking for this?

The real question we should be asking ourselves is however, should we even consider a debate about killing living unborn humans, if so why not also debate the killing of born human, at least these can protect themselves.  To me the clear answer is No.  Some people find it hard to understand that Maltese value life beyond anything else, even when it’s a challenge, and we believe there are other ways to support mothers in difficulty without the need to kill the babies within. This is something so completely opposite to human nature.


Clearly there are those who want to start a debate, not to have a mature discussion, but because that is the only way to get access to mainstream media and start instilling a pro-abortion sentiment.

Abortion campaigns everywhere were built on manipulation, using unfortunate people in difficulty to advance the abortion cause, they push exceptional circumstances, mislead public opinion, but their aim in unconstrained abortion. 

The former plaintiff known as "Jane Roe" in the 1973 US Supreme Court case that legalised abortion eventually became a prolife activist because she realised the damage abortion caused on women and how she was used to advance a deceiving cause.

In the recent Irish referendum, people voted to remove a constitutional provision to allow abortion in cases of rape or threat of the life of the mother, and woke up to a law that allowed for abortion under any circumstance in the first 12 weeks.

Misrepresentations and deceits have already started, including Facebook profiles that dress pro-life but send pro-choice messages to soften the discussion. Like that we should not address abortion as the killing of babies, or murder of the innocent, which it scientifically is. 

Deceit 1: Label pro-life Malta a country unable to have a mature discussion on abortion being as being taboo.  Calling for a “mature” discussion makes it difficult to refuse.  But we don’t agree with discussing abortion not because it is taboo, but because we are mature enough to understand that we are speaking of the lives of unborn children, and for whom we are mature enough to feel responsible.

Deceit 2: Only Malta has not introduced abortion.  FACT, over 60 counties in the world have not legalised abortion, and there are many countries, including the United States, where the debate is indeed very hot and equally divided, and a number of States in the US taking steps to further restrict abortions, some wanting to ban outright. 

Deceit 3: A big coalition in favour:  Naively press copying from coalition’s statement MaltaToday and the Independent stated, “made up of a wide spectrum of organisations and individuals”.  FACT: Additus 3 members, 6 in operational team; Womens Right Foundation 3 members; Men Against Violence, no website, registered Aleksandar Dimitrijevic, husband of Lara Dimitrijevic (Woman’s Rights Foundation); Moviment Graffitti membership unclear; Malta Humanist Association and Integra seem one band shows; and another three individuals.

From the pictures for the launch, a crowd of around 25 people, a number of whom not even Maltese, is not such of a “wide spectrum”.

Deceit 4: Needed when life of mother is threatened. FACT: The Maltese medical protocols already cater for such situations obliging doctors to save the life of the mother even if the life of the baby is put at risk.  If the child is unfortunately lost during the medical intervention the doctor or mother face no form of prosecution, as the doctor followed medical protocol. We don’t need abortion, as our laws are just fine. If doctors feel legally exposed in any way then this is a matter of their Union to address.  The Union never brought this up because the protocol already provides the necessary legal certainty and the State has proven to trust their professional judgment in such critical situations.

Deceit 5: In case of rape.  All hell broke loose in a university debate when a seasoned gynaecologist stated that in his many years of practice he was never faced a situation of a pregnant woman due to rape.  I noted that other doctors followed suit to confirm their same experience.  This does not mean that rape was never a cause of pregnancy, however clearly the incidence is very low. Rape should not be the reason why the door is put ajar.

Also, if a crime is committed, punish the criminal not the victim.  What crime did the unborn child commit to deserve the death penalty that not even the rapist receives in Malta? Also, should a woman traumatised by rape also pass through the trauma of abortion, and believe she can remain in a sound state of mental health? If the mother understandably cannot accept the child, let us support her in every way possible, including facilitating a path towards adoption.  That way the child and the mental state of the mother are protected.

Deceit 6. Decriminalisation.  This is the more recent “trick”, as though we can keep abortion illegal but decriminalise it.  When you decriminalise something it means it is no longer a criminal offence, if it is not a crime then you can do it as there are no consequences, if you can do it is legal, in other words, abortion becomes legal.  Can we seriously ever consider making the killing of an innocent child not a crime?or an offence similar to a traffic fine?  Seriously?

41 million unborn babies are killed every year, and they are not all conceived from rape or threatening the mother’s life.  They were simply killed because of the “Choice to Kill”.

The clear message of the Maltese people is No to Abortion, we value life.  Those before us protected us, and we will protect those who come after us.  Let us care for the mothers that face difficulties,there is a lot more that can be done, this is what we need to debate urgently, not the killing of their children. 


Tonio Fenech is a former Nationalist Finance Minister
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