Malta: exporting abortion

The saga of the life-saving abortion required by American tourist Andrea Prudente has come to an end in Malta. Her case has now been exported to the Spanish island of Mallorca where hopefully it will be satisfactorily settled. The matter has been dealt with in a manner identical to the case of Maltese-Canadian Marion Mifsud Nora in 2014. Today’s case was exported by Malta to Mallorca while the 2014 case was exported to Paris. The support of their travel insurers to transfer them by air ambulance to foreign jurisdictions was in both cases crucial in overcoming the lack of the Maltese state in providing adequate medical care.

The Maltese state has failed Andrea Prudente. It had also failed Marion Mifsud Nora. Likewise, it fails to protect every Maltese woman faced with a life-threatening pregnancy. Maltese women in these circumstances unfortunately suffer in silence and rarely speak up. The Maltese state lacks empathy towards any woman facing a difficult pregnancy.

Apparently, the fundamentalists running Mater Dei have learnt nothing in the last eight years after they exported the Mifsud Nora case to Paris. This notwithstanding the opinion expressed publicly by a number of eminent jurists: that when a pregnancy endangers a woman’s life, its termination is already permissible at law. In such cases the termination of a pregnancy has even been described as being an act of self-defence, permissible at law.

Exporting these two abortion cases to mainland Europe adds to the abortion tourism which is known to exist between Malta and the European mainland, primarily with the UK and Italy, even though this is not limited to these two countries.

ADPD-The Green Party has been the only political party to continuously speak up about the matter. The silence of the others is deafening!

We need an urgent overhaul of the outdated abortion legislation on Malta’s statute books.

The least we can do is to ensure the urgent removal of any legal ambiguity currently shielding the fundamentalists running Mater Dei from intervening medically to terminate a non-viable pregnancy.

Members of the local medical profession are unfortunately in the same situation as their Irish counterparts who dealt with the 2012 case of Savita Halappanavar. They are afraid to act to protect the health of patients in these circumstances. In similar circumstances Savita Halappanavar died under the watchful eyes of the Irish medical profession who felt that they could not intervene due to the then legal prohibition of any form abortion in Ireland.

Ireland has in the meantime successfully learnt its lessons and immediately proceeded to dismantle its abortion prohibitions. This involved a national referendum which by over 66 per cent voted in favour of the proposal of a Christian Democrat led government (Fine Gael) to proceed with the introduction of abortion.

Ireland has learnt the hard way in order to proceed with ensuring that ethical pluralism in its midst is adequately respected.

The writing is on the wall.

While the other political parties have been generally silent, ADPD – The Green Party is one of two political parties in Malta to speak up. ADPD supports the decriminalisation of abortion and the introduction of abortion in limited circumstances, that is to say when the pregnant woman’s life is in manifest danger, in respect of a pregnancy which is the result of violence (rape and incest) and in respect of a non-viable pregnancy.

The export of abortion to other countries will not solve or address the deficiencies of Maltese abortion legislation which, enacted over 160 years ago, is long overdue for an overhaul to bring it in line with current medical practice and developments.

The Parliamentary parties are unfortunately not interested in all this. Their policies for the foreseeable future are still export oriented.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday : 26 June 2022

Riflessjoni, wara l-massakru ta’ Pariġi

eiffel peace symbol

 

It-total tal-vittmi qiegħed jiżdied. Fil-ħin li qed nikteb, in-numru ta’ mejtin huwa ta’ 129,  b’352 feruti, 99 minnhom gravi ħafna.

Dan hu t-tieni massakru f’ Pariġi: l-ieħor seħħ f’Jannar.

Sebgħa mit-terroristi nvoluti huma mejta, it-tmien wieħed kif ukoll numru ta’ persuni assoċjati magħhom huma preżentment imfittxija.

L-attakk ta’ nhar il-Ġimgħa kien wieħed simboliku: kien attakk fuq il-valuri li Franza u Pariġi jirrappreżentaw. L-attakk seħħ fl-istess żona li fiha hemm l-uffiċini ta’ Charlie Hebdo [il-mira tal-attakk l-ieħor f’Jannar] kif ukoll infirex fiż-żona li fiha jsiru id-dimostrazzjonijiet Pariġini.

Ilkoll kemm aħna ixxukkjati b’dak li ġara. Avolja minn dak li nisimgħu ilna nistennew dan it-tip ta’ inċident.

Franza iddikjarat stat ta’ emergenza. F’Malta ġie estiż is-sospensjoni tar-regoli tas-Schengen biex dan issa jibqa’ sejjer sa wara li jintemm is-Summit taċ-CHOGM.

L-attakk fuq il-moviment ħieles tal-persuni fiż-żona Schengen ilu li beda. Intensifika mal-mewġa kurrenti ta’ migrazzjoni mis-Sirja. Wara Pariġi bla dubju dan l-attakk ser ikompli jintensifika.

L-ikbar rebħa tat-terroriżmu jkun jekk jirnexxielu jnissel il-biża’ fit-tul. Biża’ li jekk isseħħ tkompli tnaqqar it-tolleranza u s-solidarjetà.

Bla dubju jeħtieġ li noqgħodu attenti, kemm aħna ċ-ċittadini, imma iktar minnha l-awtoritajiet. Huwa neċessarju imma li ma nħallux il-biża’ tirkibna għax bħala konsegwenza ningħalqu f’gaġġa.

Huwa żmien ta’ riflessjoni favur il-paċi u s-solidarjetà, il-messaġġ ta’ Jean Julie il-karikarturista li pinġa l-karikatura riprodotta hawn fuq.

Il-vjolenza ma tiġġielidiex bil-vjolenza iżda bid-disponibilità ta’ kull wieħed minnha favur il-paċi u bit-tixrid ta’ kultura ta’ solidarjetà. Dan mhux faċli meta qed ngħumu f’baħar ta’ indifferenza. Inċidenti bħal dan jixxokkjawna, imma forsi jġibu lil uħud f’sensihom u jgħinhom biex inaqqsu l-indifferenza għas-sofferenzi madwarna.

Eiffel lights the way

ippubblikat fuq iNews, it-Tnejn 16 ta’ Novembru 2015