by Steven Ertelt
March 6, 2008
Valletta, Malta (LifeNews.com) — The leading pro-life group in Malta says it is concerned about a leading Labor Party representative who had assured the organization that plans for a constitutional amendment to ban abortions were underway. However, the official said in a press conference Tuesday that those plans hadn’t begun.
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 Maltas 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.
In December, Maltese government spokesman has said it would not officially propose any constitutional amendment without the support of the opposition Labor Party.
That meant opposition leader Alfred Sant needed to put forward a position on behalf of his party for or against the amendment.
Sant eventually told members of the Gift of Life foundation that the matter was in the process of being discussed at parliamentary group level.
However, during the press conference, Charmaine Attard, a journalist from Capital Radio, asked Sant about the Constitutional amendment.
Sant said that this issue still needs to be discussed at parliamentary group level.
"This new development is most disappointing and leaves us very perplexed," Gift of Life said in a statement sent to LifeNews.com.
The pro-life group said that its concerns are elevated because Sant has expressed his opinion on other wider social issues and that he’s more concerned about legislation to protect animals.
We were left speechless to learn that these priorities also included the legal rights for the protection of animals in Malta," the group said. "While recognizing the value of protecting these creatures adequately, this cannot in any way be categorized as more urgent than the protection of the unborn child."
The group says protecting the right to life should have precedence over other political issues.
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 – https://www.lifemalta.org