[WATCH] PM hits out at Bernard Grech over ‘misogynistic’ speech in Parliament

The Opposition leader is in hot water after ridiculing the American tourist who had to be airlifted to Spain to terminate her unviable pregnancy

Prime Minister Robert Abela has denounced Opposition leader Bernard Grech’s speech in Parliament on Wednesday when he ridiculed American woman Andrea Prudente, whose case kick-started the abortion debate earlier this year.

“The Opposition cannot say it’s in favour of protecting women while having an Opposition leader speak in that way in Parliament. I was truly shocked, the way he spoke was disappointing,” Abela said on Thursday.

Parliament is discussing legal amendments that will remove liability from doctors and pregnant people who undergo medical intervention that results in an abortion.

Grech accused the government of trying to introduce abortion without having an electoral mandate to do so. He specified that the legislation should only allow for a termination of pregnancy when the woman’s life is in danger.

As proposed, the legislation allows for termination to protect the woman’s physical and mental health.

To this end, Abela insisted that government has no intentions of introducing abortion in Malta beyond the scope of the amendment as proposed. “I was crystal clear; once, twice, three times. With the amendment we’re proposing, we will not be introducing abortion.”

“But yesterday we heard a shocking speech from the Opposition leader, merely a few days after we had the murder of a woman – I won’t go into the merits of whether it was a femicide or homicide but there was certainly a murder – we heard a misogynistic speech, which was disparaging towards women.”

Grech ridiculed Andrea Prudente, who had to be airlifted to Spain to terminate her unviable pregnancy while on holiday in Malta.

She had been in Malta with her partner to celebrate their ‘babymoon’ when her waters broke prematurely, putting her at risk of developing sepsis.

In a belittling tone, and without using her name, Grech said in Parliament that she was never in danger of dying.

“This pregnant American woman travelled more than 20 hours to celebrate her ‘baby moon’ in Malta. I never heard of a baby moon, but she called it a baby as well. She wanted an abortion, despite our doctors treating her well and in a prudent way. Her baby moon ended when she went to Spain by air ambulance and then she sued the Maltese state.”

His speech came one week after a woman was killed by her husband on her way to work. Bernice Cassar had filed several domestic violence reports against her husband Roderick, but she became the third femicide victim this year after he shot her dead as she drove to work at the Corradino Industrial Estate.