A letter from the Bishops of Malta and Gozo was sent yesterday, 1st December 2022, to the members of the Parliament of Malta about the amendment proposed on the termination of pregnancy.
We wish to express our profound concern, shared by many others, over the contents of Bill no. 28 of 2022 which, if approved by Parliament as proposed, will permit abortion to take place in Malta.
According to official statements, this amendment’s origins lie in the desire to enshrine into law that no criminal action would be taken against a doctor or mother should a baby in the womb die as a result of a medical intervention performed by a doctor with the intention of saving the life of the mother.
In reality, saving the mother’s life has always been the acknowledged priority when it has not proved possible to also save an unborn child’s life and no criminal proceedings have ever been instituted against either a doctor or mother when this unfortunate predicament has arisen.
However, not only is this amendment unnecessary, but it also opens up the possibility to terminate the life of a child even when the mother’s life is not in danger because it permits an abortion to take place when the mother is at risk of suffering from a health condition that is not life threatening.
As shown in other countries, introducing a risk to health into the law facilitates terminations on a spurious pretext. It is abortion. Nothing more, nothing less. We view this as an extremely serious and retrograde development.
Where a health condition requires treatment, we should do all we can to ensure that treatment is administered; when the mother is in difficulty of one sort or another, we should do all we can to ensure she is provided with whatever support and help she requires. However, terminating the life of another to safeguard someone’s health must never be an option.
The crux of this matter does not lie in verbal assurances but in the text of the Bill. And the text of this Bill facilitates abortion in no uncertain terms and, to make matters even worse, does so right up to the point of birth.
A new life comes into being at the moment of conception. In the mother’s womb resides a human being, not an object that can be simply discarded or destroyed. Our heartfelt appeal to you is to recognise the great responsibility you have on your shoulders to protect the weak and vulnerable; and to preserve life, not destroy it.
We pray that you will recognise the importance and implications of the choice before you and urge you in the strongest possible terms to choose life instead of death.
✠ Charles Jude Scicluna
Archbishop of Malta
✠ Anton Teuma
Bishop of Gozo
✠ Joseph Galea-Curmi
Auxiliary Bishop of Malta