Abortion: One step at a time

Muscat had declared from very early on that he, as Joseph Muscat, is all out against abortion. He was very open about the great pains he had gone through, together with his wife, who almost lost their children. With this personal experience in mind it is no big surprise that he is against all forms of abortion, including the morning after pill. I respect his firm position on the matter, I really do. In fact I am not really one to talk since I have absolutely no experience on what it is like to become a parent.

It's just that sometimes one needs to draw a line between the personal belief and the public reality. To put it bluntly, should a future Labour government bury abortion simply because of its leader's personal opinion? Of course, the leader of any party, or prime minister of a country for that matter usually has the final say and it would be somewhat difficult that leader to approve of something that he vehemently disagrees with.

Let me declare from the outset that I do not look at abortion as a form of birth control. I think that would be downright irresponsible. That is why our nation needs to start growing up and take sex education out of the taboo jungle and into ordinary/regular school life. And what's all this hullabaloo with putting condom machines on campus? I am not such a big fan of the "it's my body and I do what I want" argument either. However I do believe that women should be given the choice to terminate their pregnancy under certain conditions and hence abortion should, for starters, be decriminalized.

I think the British position on abortion is the best one. In the UK abortion is allowed up to 24 weeks on condition that continuing with the pregnancy involves a greater risk to:
  • the physical or mental health of the woman, or
  • the physical or mental health of the woman's existing children than having a termination.
And after 24 weeks if there is:
  • risk to the life of the woman,
  • evidence of severe fetal abnormality, or
  • risk of grave physical and mental injury to the woman.
One must not fear asking difficult questions. Should victims of rape and incest be given a choice to terminate? I believe so.

Of course, these are my opinions, just as much as JM and everybody else has his and her own opinions. The worst thing any of us can do is to kill off all forms of debate or give one (unelected) section of society (GoL for example) the liberty to decide for everybody else and future generations.

Yet one needs to be realistic. The reality is that abortion, unlike divorce, is still a taboo subject. As much as you may agree with abortion, know that in all probability it's not going to come round any time soon. It is not an excuse to remain silent on what you believe in but an understanding that in Malta (especially) it is all about taking things one step at a time.

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One Response to Abortion: One step at a time

james debono said...

i am a parent and i love my child a lot and i strongly agree with obama' call on fathers to be responsible. But i can't see any link between being a parent and being pro life. Most people in europe are pro choice. That does not make them bad parents.

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