by Steven Ertelt
February 14, 2007
Valleta, Malta (LifeNews.com) — Government leaders in Malta say the island nation will not cave in to pressure from the United Nations and European Union leaders to legalize abortion. The statement comes just days after Portugal voters defeated an abortion referendum and government leaders responded by saying they would legalize the practice.
A local news story carried on the General Workers’ Union daily l-orizzont said the government is considering legalizing abortion.
However, a representative of the Malta Foreign Affairs Ministry told the Malta Independent newspaper that’s not the case.
In a statement, the government said it has always told the UN and EU that abortion must be left for individual countries to decide on and that it will continue to keep abortions illegal. Officials said the Maltese people remain resolutely opposed to legalizing abortion.
Government officials also denied a claim in the news story that it was working with UN and EU leaders to pressure Nicaragua to legalize abortion. The Central American national has also come under pressure to overturn its pro-life laws.
Malta is one of the few European nations to make abortion illegal and government officials have tried to crack down on efforts from other nations to promote abortions there.
Spanish abortion practitioner Josep Carbonell has been advertising abortions at his Valencia, Spain abortion facility. Carbonell has said he wants to do abortions at no cost since women living on the island nation can’t get abortions there.
The government of Malta has told pro-life advocates that it can’t stop the ads even though abortion is prohibited.
“As long as what he’s promoting is happening abroad, there is nothing legally that can be done about it,” a spokesman for Home Affairs Minister Tonio Borg said at the time. “It is morally reprehensible, but nobody can stop him from advertising services he’s offering in other countries.”
Malta has come under pressure from the United Nations to reverse its pro-life laws.
In December 2004, the nation’s Catholic bishops condemned a United Nation’s campaign pushing the pro-life country to overturn its pro-life laws.
Maltese bishops criticized a document released by a UN committee urging the nation to consider allowing abortions in cases of rape or incest or supposedly to protect the health of the mother.
The bishops called the recommendation "objectionable" and "unacceptable" and urged Malta residents to continue protecting the right to life of unborn children from conception.
"Abortion is and remains the murder of innocent persons, whatever the reason behind it," the bishops said. "Abortion is fully contrary to the law of God. It is a grave affront to God, who has absolute authority over human life."
The United Nations Human Rights Committee placed Malta and other pro-life nations on a "hit list" of countries that would be subjected to intense lobbying to alter their abortion statutes. Ironically, Malta has a representative on this UN committee.
Related web sites:
Gift of Life petition – https://www.lifemalta.org