The Malta Independent 3 February 2023, Friday
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Abortion law amendment bill debate must be supported with factual evidence - National Youth Council

Tuesday, 6 December 2022, 19:47 Last update: about 3 months ago

The past few days have been dominated by discussions surrounding the most recent Bill No. 28, concerning an amendment to introduce a new article of law to the subsection on abortion in our Criminal Code, The National Youth Council (KNŻ) has said.

KNŻ has been monitoring the situation closely, "taking regard to the information released and the various views presented to date. On this note, the Executive Committee recognises and acknowledges the difficulties that this debate has posed so far. The National Youth Parliament held in September 2022 showed that policy on this controversial subject requires a strictly moderated space where all sides are able to present their views respectfully, diligently and with maturity towards all parties."

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"This discussion cannot begin to progress without our own decision-makers being the leaders that our youths need to see. This debate should not and cannot afford to be spearheaded by fallacious arguments, sensational language and partisan sentiments. It must be supported with factual evidence, with medical and legal implications being clearly laid out, for all of civil society to be able to form a comprehensive understanding of the proposed change before lobbying in favour or against it."

"The ultimate decision as to whether the exceptions will be adopted into our Law must lay within the hands of the representatives backed by internationally recognised medical expertise and legal formulation with the intended room for discretion. Experts and activists within this field must be turned to for a consensus on an amendment that should ultimately benefit solely individuals' health, well-being and dignity, and not a political agenda."

"We hereby call upon the two major parties in Parliament, their media houses and independent sources to proceed with professionalism and caution as to the dangerous effects of misinformation. We encourage all stakeholders involved to condemn hate speech, misogyny and slander that continue to take place within Parliament, political party structures and associated entities. Henceforth, we call upon our legislators to prioritise the promised sexual health policy reform and emphasise the need to undertake any and all policy changes with an all-encompassing approach, as opposed to the one that youth have been exposed to time and time again."

KNZ's statement was endorsed by: Betapsi Malta, ELSA Malta, Junior Chamber of Advocates, JEF Malta, KSJC - Kunsill Studenti Junior College, Malta Model United Nations Society, MHSA - Malta Health Students' Association, MŻPN, Pulse, SDM - Studenti Demokristjani Maltin, The Third Eye, University of Malta Futsal, Żgħażagħ Laburisti.


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