PN former candidate wants disciplinary action against pro-choice women inside party

Anti-choice doctor Herman Farrugia says he will ask disciplinary committee to examine whether PN statute precludes membership to people who espouse pro-choice views

Emma Portelli Bonnici and Martina Caruana
Emma Portelli Bonnici and Martina Caruana

A former Nationalist Party candidate has threatened to file an official complaint to the PN’s disciplinary committee against two women in official posts at the party, for espousing pro-choice views on sexual health and reproductive rights.

Herman Farrugia, a specialist in diabetes and hormonal disorders, said Opposition leader Bernard Grech had appointed the two PN members to their posts, when their views fell foul of their membership conditions according to the PN’s statute.

He was referring to the PN’s head of political research Martina Caruana and the #NeverAgain spokesperson Emma Portelli Bonnici, a 9th and 10th district candidate.

Farrugia, a candidate on the 1st and 9th district in the 2017 election, claimed that the PN’s statute is explicit that “all party members have the sacrosanct obligation to respect and protect human life from conception to its last breath.”

He specifically referred to the statute’s Article 4 condition that members “embrace the principles, Statute and discipline of the party”, and Article 2’s stated party vision, namely its belief in “full respect for the value of human life” and to work for “the development and health of everyone, from conception to death”.

Farrugia claims this precludes Caruana and Portelli Bonnici from being PN members.

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The PN Statute also precludes the denial of membership to people on grounds of their religious beliefs.

Farrugia accused Bernard Grech of “convenietly forgetting” the Statute’s conditions. “He was probably misguided by the illustrious president of ‘political research’ and her intimate friend, the brazen pro-choice candidate, whom Grech paradoxically appointed to coordinate the #neveragain think tank.”

Farrugia said his complaint was intended at safeguarding the PN’s statute approved in June 2020.

The anti-choice Farrugia has also mocked Grech with an old moniker, ‘BerniePN’, redolent of the GonziPN slogan of 2008, and his proposal for free contraception to young people.

In a post on a French government decision to give free contraception to people under 25 years of age, Farrugia commented that France had the EU’s highest reproductive rate, while Malta had the lowest, as well as one of the cheapest prices for hormonal contraception.

“I remind BerniePN that France has long introduced abortion legislation within a rigidly controlled medico-ethical framework, since the time of the illustrious centre-right senator Simone Veil. This is not yet the case in the Malta, which is why BerniePN’s totally controversial proposal to dish out the morning-after pill for free without prescription is totally false and unacceptable, and inconsistent with the spirit of the law. This is because scientifically, certain types of MAP instigate a preventive obstacle to the start of new embryological life.”

PN candidate Emma Portelli Bonnici has been tasked with overseeing the outreach process aimed at ensuring the implementation of recommendations from the public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder.

Portelli Bonnici will be leading the ‘Never Again’ committee, who will be meeting with stakeholders, and consequently drafting a way forward on how recommendations should be carried out. Conclusions from the public inquiry into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia highlighted the State's shortcomings for having fostered the environment that led to her assassination.