Catholic Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta urged the country’s parliament Thursday not to regress by allowing the “killing of babies” in abortions.
Malta is one of the few countries in Europe that still protects unborn babies’ right to life. Earlier this week, however, independent MP Marlene Farrugia introduced legislation to legalize abortions, The Times of Malta reports.
Responding in a homily Thursday, Scicluna said society cannot progress when it kills its own children, according to the report.
“The womb of a mother is something that is dear and holy. It is there that human life can grow. Let us pray that the womb remains a place of life, not a place of death,” he said.
Scicluna said society cannot advance women’s rights at the cost of children’s lives, continuing, “So wouldn’t society be regressing when it then allowed the killing of babies?”
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Here’s more from The Independent:
Scicluna sought reason in comparing animal cruelty to the proposed decriminalisation bill. Harsh penalties are what people will be faced with if they are found guilty of animal cruelty charges, he said. This was a step forward in animal care, Scicluna added “but don’t you think that if we are now allowed to kill the unborn, it will be a big step backwards not forwards”.
The archbishop also emphasized that the church wants to help pregnant and parenting families through difficult circumstances.
“May we always choose life, the life of mothers and their offspring,” he said.
Malta has resisted international pressure to legalize abortion for years. Back in 2013, pro-abortion groups accused Malta of allowing the “torture” of women because its laws protect unborn babies’ lives. The accusation came from the International Commission of Jurists, a human rights organization, in a report to the Human Rights Council. It also claimed Malta is unnecessarily endangering women’s lives by prohibiting abortions.
Until recently, a number of European countries protected unborn babies by prohibiting abortions. However, Ireland abandoned its pro-life laws in 2018 and Northern Ireland was forced to legalize abortion 2019 by the British Parliament. Abortions are illegal in almost all cases in Poland, but Malta remains the only country that fully prohibits abortions.