The 20 MEP candidates who responded to a survey by Allied Rainbow Communities said they were in favour of equal reproductive rights and “family-planning”.

The ARC survey found that most candidates from all political parties were in favour of providing equal access to all reproductive health services, including family planning services.

The ARC survey was conducted among 20 candidates: 10 from the Labour Party, five representing the PN, two from the Democratic Party, two independent candidates and one from Alternattiva Demokratika.

All of them, bar three, said they supported equal access to reproductive health services to individuals and couples regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Independent candidate Arnold Cassola said he was “against reproductive and sexual rights” when this was equivalent to abortion. However, he said he was not against abortion when the mother’s life was in danger.

PN candidate Roberta Metsola declared she agreed with reproductive rights, making it clear she was against abortion. PN candidate Michael Briguglio also said he was against surrogacy and abortion.

In the survey, the ARC based the definition of reproductive health services on that given by the World Health Organisation, which insists people should be free to decide if, when and how often to have children. 

The survey also shed light on other issues regarding sexual health. Labour candidate, Joseph Sammut, said he was against allowing men who had sexual relations with other males to donate blood. Health Minister Chris Fearne had announced gay men would be allowed to donate blood by this summer.

Life Network Foundation survey results continue trickling in

Most Labour candidates for the upcoming European elections did not reply to a survey by Life Network Foundation asking whether they were in favour of abortion.

The survey by the LNF – to which 17 candidates originally replied – sought to gauge the candidates’ views on a number of sensitive issues, including abortion, euthanasia and surrogacy. The vast majority of Labour candidates did not reply when asked whether they would vote in favour of legislation, resolutions and other measures promoting abortion.

Among other things, the candidates were asked whether they would ever vote in favour of abortion, whether they were in favour of surrogacy, whether they were committed to defending everybody’s freedom of conscience and whether they would vote for any measures favouring euthanasia or assisted suicide.

From among those contesting on the Labour ticket, only Robert Micallef, Fleur Vella, Felix Galea Busuttil and Alex Agius Saliba replied to the questionnaire. They all said they were against abortion but in favour of surrogacy. The last three also said they were in favour of euthanasia.

An updated version of the survey results was sent on Friday. Labour MEP candidates had still not replied to the question on abortion. 

However, PD candidate Martin Cauchi Inglott and leader Anthony Buttigieg confirmed they were against the introduction of abortion.

Dr Buttigieg and Mr Cauchi Inglott also indicated that they were in favour of surrogacy.

International bodies such as the Council of Europe have warned that Malta’s laws on abortion are too restrictive and breach women’s rights. Published studies and NGOs have indicated that the blanket ban on abortion did not stop Maltese women from undergoing the procedure.

Both large political parties have adopted a pro-life stand and declare they are against abortion.

The Nationalist Party said a vote for Labour would support the European Socialists who had expressed support for equal reproductive rights while a vote for the PN would be “a vote in favour of life”.

The Labour Party said PN leader Adrian Delia was “desperate” and “trying to sow division”. Labour’s stand against abortion was clear, it said.

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