The Malta Independent 15 October 2021, Friday

‘Discussion on abortion should continue, but not be politicised’ - PM

Janet Fenech Tuesday, 28 September 2021, 19:06 Last update: about 17 days ago

The abortion legalisation debate in Malta should continue without being politicised, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Tuesday, while adding that the rights of the unborn have to be voiced.

"Abortion should not have political controversy," he said.

He spoke while addressing a conference called: 'United for a more social Europe' organised by the EU's Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group, which was held in Malta.

"The discussion should go on, but we should respect the divergent perspectives. I look forward to the discussion continuing," Abela said.

In her reply to the question, S&D President Iratxe García Pérez said that she puts women's rights as first priority, but that she is pleased that Malta has now arrived at the stage where there is an actual ongoing debate on abortion.

"Many years ago there was no debate. So, the fact there is one now means different positions can be represented. We are very aware that this first step has been taken," she said.

When questioned on the topic of migration, both Abela and García Pérez spoke about the need for a shared responsibility by all EU member states, since as García Pérez said, some countries are having to face greater migration challenges  due to their geographical position.  She said that "solidarity must be at the heart of the European project"

Abela said that Malta and Lampedusa have been facing a "disproportionate" burden compared to other EU countries since the approach is "not coordinated and each and every country is left on its own."

"The concept of solidarity of irregular migration has had a toxic analogy," he continued.

Abela remarked that whenever he attends an EU council meeting he always brings up the debate on migration but till now he has found a "negligible initiative".

Thus, he said that the government is tackling the problem on its own through a dialogue of "reciprocity" with Libya.

"Our own efforts with the Libyan authorities is the only thing we have at the moment," he concluded.


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