Amnesty International’s Malta Branch Will Not Actively Advocate Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 23, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Amnesty International’s Malta Branch Will Not Actively Advocate Abortion Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 23,

Valleta, Malta ( — Amnesty International’s recent decision to endorse abortion for victims of sexual abuse put some of its local chapters in nations that prohibit abortion in a quandary. On Thursday, the Malta AI affiliate said it would not join its international parent in actively campaigning for abortion.

The decision puts AI Malta in league with its Ireland counterpart, which has also indicated it will not actively promote overturning the pro-life laws of the western European nation.

Like Ireland, Malta is one of the few European nations to make abortion illegal and AI Malta’s spokesperson Jean Pierre Gauci indicated the human rights group’s decision to endorse abortion will not change the way the Malta group operates.

He told the Malta Today newspaper that Amnesty doesn’t expect his group to push to overturn the pro-life laws of the tiny island country.

“The decision was motivated by the situation in countries like Sudan, where women are systematically raped by militias and face death by stoning if they commit adultery,” Gauci said.

Gauci made it clear that the group would also not push for any new law in Malta allowing abortions in cases of rape or incest.

According to the newspaper, AI Malta did not participate in last week’s international conference in Mexico City where national chapters voted to reaffirm the pro-abortion position the group’s executive committee adopted in April.

Because it has only been active for a few years, AI Malta did not have a vote there.

Amnesty International’s Ireland affiliate is the only other group to indicate it would go a slightly different direction from its parent group.

While the parent group and other national chapters may actively promote abortion in their nations or in other countries, Ireland’s chapter will not push abortion there. The group will remain affiliated with Amnesty International and provide funding and support for it and its other programs.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Amnesty International that you want it to reverse its decision to support abortion. Go to to contact the group and express your opposition. Also, use the group’s web site to find your national affiliate and tell them you oppose the idea.