Malta Opposition Party Key to Determining Fate of Abortion Amendment

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 16, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Malta Opposition Party Key to Determining Fate of Abortion Amendment Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 16,

Valletta, Malta ( — The opposition Labour Party in Malta appears to be the key in determining whether or not an abortion amendment will move ahead in the nation’s parliament.

The Gift of Life Foundation, the leading pro-life group on the island nation, has asked MPs to sponsor legislation that would enshrine legal protection for unborn children in Malta’s constitution.

Gift of Life wants to change Article 33 of the Malta constitution to read, "No person shall intentionally be deprived of his life from conception.”

The new language would be added to a clause which prohibits depriving a person of his right to life without due process.

Gift of Life has spearheaded the campaign for two years and collected more than 36,000 signatures from residents on its behalf. The effort has resulted in obtaining the support of 40 lawmakers from both parties for the amendment, only four votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to approve it.

A Maltese government spokesman has said it would not officially propose any constitutional amendment without the support of the opposition Labor Party. That means opposition leader Alfred Sant needs to put forward a position on behalf of his party for or against the amendment. Several Labour Party members have endorsed the amendment but Sant hasn’t yet taken an official position.

The Times of Malta newspaper, in a weekend editorial, urged the political leader to decide one way or another sometime soon.

“Sant also has the right to be in favor or against the proposal,” the newspaper wrote. “But it is high time that he decides one way or the other. It is unfair to leave the debate hanging. It shows indecision, which is not a good sign for a prime minister-in-waiting.” previously profiled Gift of Life’s efforts to protect the unborn further.

"Following the public consultation by the Government in 2005 on how to best protect Malta against abortion, a year later, the unborn child in Malta is still not adequately protected from the possibility of abortion being introduced in the future. We are lobbying to give the unborn child the right to life through our Constitution," the organization says.

Previously, government leaders in Malta said they will not cave in to pressure from the United Nations and European Union leaders to legalize abortion.

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.

Related web sites:
Gift of Life petition –