‘You can’t be in favour of abortion and be part of the PN’, Grech says in strongest missive yet

PN leader Bernard Grech’s radio interview seals abortion debate conclusively inside PN: ‘As long as I am PN leader… nobody will be in favour of abortion and be in this party or as a representative of the party.’

Opposition leader Bernard Grech
Opposition leader Bernard Grech

Opposition leader Bernard Grech issued his clearest declaration yet against party representatives in favour of abortion, in a six-minute tirade on PN radio station Net FM.

The Nationalist leader committed himself to a categorical anti-abortion stance by saying that he would not tolerate anyone representing the party to be in favour of abortion.

“We can’t let Labour use delicate issues like these whenever it is overshadowed by its own wrongdoings,” Grech told journalist Dione Borg.

“The abortion issue is a closed matter. This party was, is, will always be against abortion. It is a clear declaration I have made, that my predecessors have made, and it is our official position as laid down in the statute. Nobody, and I repeat nobody, as long as I am PN leader… will permit anyone to be in favour of abortion and stay in this party or as a representative of the party.”

Grech’s strong comments reflect his long-held position on the issue, despite the presence of more vocal pro-choice members inside the PN. Yet Grech accused Labour of weaponising this difference in opinion against the PN, doubling down on his uncompromising stance.

“If we want to be truly Nationalists and Christian-democrats, we’re obliged to say we’re against abortion, and act to let no mother of father, Maltese or not, commit such an act,” Grech said.

“I hope there’s no Nationalist, no activist who’d call themselves Christian and Nationalist, who keeps believing Labour’s lies. Do not fall into this trap. As long as I’m here, this party will be pro-life.”

He received an accolade on social media from senior cleric Mgr Anton Gouder, who posed the question to both political parties on Facebook and then feature their replies on his Facebook profile.

Grech has already proposed that contraception and the morning-after-pill should be available free of charge to everyone over the age of 16 so as to reduce the demand for abortion.

Grech’s categorical statements also open up questions about self-declared pro choice candidates like Emma Portelli Bonnici, who are at the forefront of party policy. A former Nationalist Party candidate, Hermann Farrugia, recently threatened to file an official complaint to the PN’s disciplinary committee against women in official posts at the party for espousing pro-choice views on sexual health and reproductive rights.

In his radio interview, Grech also equated the challenge of climate crisis and the public demands for environmental preservation with the choice to terminate a pregnancy.

“Are we going to talk about climate change, or the preservation of the environment for our future generations, but not be in favour of future generations themselves? We preserve a turtle’s eggs because we believe in that life, but not that of a newly-conceived baby? To us that is a human life that is important: the PN is against abortion, without any doubt.”

Grech also called on politicians to be actively against abortion and assist couples undergoing challenges and considering a termination.

“It is our obligation to protect life, and not say only that we’re against, but do our utmost to succour and support that mother or father considering a termination… it is no solution.”