Watch - Anti-abortion activists seek assurances from politicians
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Watch - Anti-abortion activists seek assurances from politicians

Call for constitutional amendments

Video: Chris Sant Fournier.

Anti-abortion activists on Sunday demanded that political party leaders sign a written declaration against any legislation that could lead to the introduction of abortion.

A gathering around the Christ the King monument in Floriana heard demands by the vocal pro-life lobby ‘Abortion in Malta? Not in my name!'.

Rebecca Dalli Gonzi said the recently set up Facebook group ‘Abortion in Malta? Not in my name!' had garnered some 20,000 members in just a short few weeks.

The group wants party leaders to pledge that they would instruct their party whips to ensure no MPs on their ticket vote in favour of an abortion Bill should it ever be brought forward in the House.

“The absolute majority of the Maltese people are against the legalisation of abortion in Malta. There is, however, a growing uncertainty in the public domain if the will of this majority, will carry on being respected,” Ivan Grech Mintoff of the Alleanza Bidla party said.

Ms Dalli Gonzi added that the social media group had been set up to ensure that all political parties, truly listened to “the unborn”.

We demand guarantees that abortion will not be introduced in Malta and that we will not accept any EU directive or regulation that forces us to do so

“We demand guarantees that abortion will not be introduced in Malta and that we will not accept any EU directive or regulation that forces us to do so,” she said.

The group are also calling for amendments to the Constitution that would ensure embryos enjoy the same rights as Maltese citizens.

Mr Grech Mintoff told Times of Malta that they wanted article 33 of the Constitution, which covers protection of the right of life, to be amended to read “no person, from conception, shall intentionally be deprived of their life”.

The group also wants assurances that article six of the Constitution – which outlines how the Constitution overrides inconsistent laws, would be protected from the planned reform.

“We don’t want this touched in the Constitutional convention as we have concerns that this protection will be erased,” he said.

The rally heard appeals for “all who sincerely above all else wish to protect human life before birth, regardless of political affiliation or allegiances”, to call on their political leaders to make their positions known by signing the declaration.

The rally, which attracted a modest crowd, heard a number of speakers and even singers perform a rap about life from conception.

Tensions over the potential introduction of abortion have been simmering in Malta and just last month the Women’s Rights Foundation insisted on the need for safe and legal access to terminate a pregnancy.

Malta along with just five other states in the world — El Salvador, the Vatican, Chile, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua — still refuse abortions to women under any circumstances, even if in the case of maternal life or death.

The foundation says it is high time Malta reforms the existing laws, despite the vociferous opposition to abortion.

Through a position paper, it advocated for all women in Malta to have access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health.

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