Government financing anti-human rights agenda by funding pro-life shelter, activists say

Maltese government supporting anti-human rights agenda by giving money to Life Network Foundation, which doctors accuse of peddling incorrect medical claims

Minister Michael Falzon (left) with Life Network chairperson Dr Miriam Sciberras
Minister Michael Falzon (left) with Life Network chairperson Dr Miriam Sciberras

A sum of €130,000 granted by Malta’s social solidarity ministry to a shelter to counsel pregnant women seeking an abortion is funding conservative religious beliefs, Malta’s pro-choice doctors’ group said. 

Another pro-choice women’s group, Voice for Choice, said it was appalled by the donation to Life Network Foundation, whose affiliation with Agenda Europe aimed to repeal human rights and equality laws, particularly for women, young people, and the LGBTQ+ community. 

“By providing funds to Life Network Malta, the government is supporting an anti-human rights agenda, and this is completely unacceptable,” Voice for Choice said. 

“Funding organisations with extreme anti-human rights and anti-choice agendas is not the way to provide ‘support’ to women facing difficulty in pregnancy. It also risks empowering those who wish to roll back the advances in LGBTIQ+ equality and reproductive laws relating to IVF enacted by previous administrations.” 

Doctors For Choice said the money to the Life Network Foundation, which runs the shelter, was peddling incorrect medical claims. 

“It is a shame that Malta’s government has decided to give a considerable sum of money to Life Network Foundation to run its services over the next three years. This means public money is being used to fund an agenda that is based on conservative religious beliefs rather than evidence-based medicine, and this strategy is harmful to the health of women in Malta,” Doctors For Choice said. 

“A quick look at the website of Life Line Malta, a support helpline for women in pregnancy crisis run by Life Network Foundation, reveals a number of medical untruths that are framed in a way to promote the organisation’s anti-abortion and anti-contraception agenda.” 

Doctors For Choice said the website claimed that morning-after pills could be used to end ‘early pregnancy’. The doctors said this was untrue and that no reputable scientific evidence supported such a claim. “The morning-after pills do not cause abortion if there already is a pregnancy ongoing. The abortion pills are completely different medicines.” 

Another claim made on the same website was that abortion pill Mifepristone “can be reversed in some cases”. Doctors For Choice said there was no treatment proven to reverse the effects of Mifepristone. “A trial to look into whether giving Progesterone after Mifepristone could continue the pregnancy had to be stopped after women developed haemorrhages. Not only is ‘abortion pill reversal’ treatment unproven, it is probably dangerous,” the doctors said. 

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