Malta President George Vella has made it very clear that he supports the rights of unborn babies.
On Monday, Vella spoke with Net News about a bill introduced earlier this month to legalize abortions in the country. Malta is one of the few countries in Europe that still protects unborn babies by banning abortions.
A medical doctor, the president told the news outlet that he never would sign a bill allowing the “authorized murder” of unborn babies.
“You either kill or you don’t – there are no ifs and buts,” Vella said.
He also reiterated a promise he made in 2019 to resign rather than sign such a bill, according to the report.
“I will never sign a bill that involves the authorization of murder,” Vella said, Times of Malta reports. “I cannot stop the executive from deciding, that is up to Parliament. But I do have the liberty, if I don’t agree with a bill, to resign and go home. I have no problem doing this.”
According to Lovin Malta, a 2020 survey found overwhelming public opposition to abortion, with just 5.2 percent of residents saying they support unrestricted access to abortion in the first trimester.
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The pro-abortion bill has little chance of passing Parliament after both Nationalist and Labour party leaders said they oppose it, the Times reports.
On Monday, former President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca also spoke out in support of unborn babies. In an interview with The Malta Independent, Coleiro Preca said the rights of children begin before birth.
“Throughout the years, my political life and most of my work have always revolved around children and their rights,” she said. “I therefore believe that I cannot fight for the rights of children unless I also fight for their right to be born.
“Nonetheless, I believe that women who, for some reason or another, go through an abortion should not be criminalised, but instead should receive the necessary psycho-social and emotional support, whereas the person or persons who administer the abortion procedure should face consequences and be punished according to the law,” she continued.
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 is the only country that fully prohibits abortions in Europe.
Last week, Catholic Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta also urged parliament to reject abortion. He said society cannot advance women’s rights at the cost of their own children’s lives, stating, “So wouldn’t society be regressing when it then allowed the killing of babies?”