Responding to claims by the Nationalist Party (PN), Prime Minister Robert Abella said the abortion waiver bill would not legalize abortion.
Abella said he decided to draft the law after consulting with national advocates and finding no room for exceptions in Malta’s anti-abortion law.
Abella called for petty politics to stop when discussing such sensitive and important topics, saying PN is only having these discussions to score political points. .
“The opposition is trying to scare,” he said.
When speaking of Andrea Prudente’s case, he said doctors knew her pregnancy was not viable but could not intervene because her life was in danger.
He clarified that the law does not legalize abortion because it is still illegal for a mother to decide whether she wants an abortion. Abortions are only done when medical complications that pose a serious health risk are identified.
He said the government understands the reality of what is happening in Malta and will not turn a blind eye to these incidents.
“The amendments are clear and intended to give mothers and doctors peace of mind,” he said.
Doctors can intervene and save the mother’s life, but abortion remains illegal. He pointed out that the laws that make on-demand abortion illegal will not change.
Nationalist MP Adrian Delia asked why the amendment was made following Prudente’s complaint that lives were not in danger.
He said the current law would never hurt anyone and he didn’t understand why the amendment was being proposed.
He also said the doctor tried to save his life, so he was never convicted.
“The proposal means that every reason affecting a woman’s life is reason enough to end the life of an unborn child.
He said this amendment to the law means that legislators are leaving it up to themselves to decide when a person’s life ends.
PN MP Stephen Spiteri said the law needs to be made clearer and identify physical and mental health problems that can lead to abortion.
He also expressed concern that these ambiguous amendments mirrored those passed in the UK, ultimately leading to on-demand abortion.
“If we don’t pay attention to what is happening here, just like what happened in other countries, abortion will be legalized,” he said.
PN MP Mark Anthony Sammut began by saying, “I have never heard so many contradictions from the government.”
He asked the government to sit with each other and figure out where they stand. He said there are MPs in his PL who believe the amendments are there to prevent Prudente’s lawsuits, but some MPs say the amendments do not prevent Prudente’s lawsuits.
He denounced cannabis reform, then asked how he should have trusted the government by amending the laws that dealt with people’s lives.
He said that if these loopholes were put through, Malta could allow very late-stage abortions overnight, because the amendment does not distinguish between the different stages of pregnancy. and as long as the doctor can confirm the health problem, this may pass.
PL MP’s Glenn Bedingfield said the amendments meant the government wanted to protect women through the law.
While PN said there were no cases of medical professionals failing to do their duty and failing to save lives, Bedingfield said there were many unpublished and unspoken cases. Stated.
“We have not legalized abortion. It remains illegal in our country,” he said.
“The opposition says they want both the child and the mother dead. You want the woman dead and the doctor in jail,” he said.
This provoked a furious reaction from PN, followed by a point of order called by Robert Cutajar. He said his Bedingfield is misleading the room in his comments.
Bedingfield said the opposition was just trying to scare people and that this was all a political campaign.
In such cases, the woman has no choice, but it is the doctor who chooses whether to terminate the pregnancy, he said. This is only true if there are medical complications that endanger the woman’s health or put her health in dire straits.
Bedingfield also accused PN of treating mental health issues as secondary to other issues. I said.
Rosianne Cutajar spoke about the importance of respecting women through this law and creating a safer environment for women.
She accused PN of not wanting to respect women because she did not want PN to adopt legal changes that would save women’s lives.
“Your message is clear: PN is not a women’s party,” she said.
She said Prudente’s case wasn’t the only one worth mentioning. She also covered the case of Marion Mifsud Mora, who nearly died after giving birth to a dead fetus.
She said that following Prudente’s case, it was clear that a medical abortion was necessary in a situation like this, and that is why this amendment was proposed.
https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2022-11-29/local-news/Abortion-exemption-law-does-not-make-abortion-legal-Robert-Abela-6736247856 Abella defends government abortion waiver bill, says PN is trying to scare people