Adrian Delia writes to President: do not resign and oppose abortion

Nationalist MP Adrian Delia has written to the President of the Republic calling him to resist the coming into force of a law amending the abortion ban in Malta

Adrian Delia has personally called on George Vella not to sign the law into force
Adrian Delia has personally called on George Vella not to sign the law into force

Nationalist MP Adrian Delia has written to the President of the Republic, George Vella, not to abdicate his responsibility as Head of State should he have to refuse to sign a law allowing abortion in the case that a woman’s health is endangered.

Delia, one of the major anti-choice voices in the Prudente law debate, called on Vella, a doctor by profession who is against abortion, not to resign his office should he have to sign into law the Criminal Code amendment.

“My heartfelt appeal to you as a person, a doctor who swore an oath to save life, as President of the Republic, custodian of the Constitution... fear not, be strong, and do not abdicate your noble responsibility,” Delia said in a letter he wrote to Vella, a former Labour minister.

“Stand with the Maltese, listen to your conscience and beliefs which reflect our very own Constitution. Do not be an accomplice by being absent, and make us proud. This is the moment of truth, the moment to decide and not to run away. If we give in, we would have lost the soul that fortified us since time immemorial.”

George Vella has previously abstained from signing laws introducing preimplantation genetic testing on embryos – largely down to his opposition to IVF – by being absent from the island and leaving any such laws to the acting President, Prof. Frank Bezzina.

As before, speculation is rife among as to whether President George Vella could refuse to sign a law that will absolve doctors of criminal liability should they have to terminate a pregnancy if this endangers the woman’s life and health.

Jason Azzopardi sued over conspiracy that Prudente contrived Malta abortion

Previously, former Opposition leader Adrian Delia had broke ranks with his successor Bernard Grech after insisting that he is wholly against embryo genetic testing. “I believe in in life [and] I believe that the value of life is inalienable. A test on an unfertilised female egg would not put anyone's life in danger. Genetic testing on embryos would.”

But while Grech voted in favour of PGT testing, the Opposition leader has been roundly criticised by pro-choice supporters and feminists for his speech in the House this week in which he ridiculed Andrea Prudente, the American traveller whose unviable pregnancy could not be terminated despite its threat to her health and life.

The Labour Party parliamentary group is meeting to discuss the way forward on government’s proposal to introduce an abortion exception if a woman’s life or health is in danger.

Sources close to the party said the meeting is discussing the possibility of tweaking the proposed Bill, especially in the wake of President George Vella’s opposition to the proposal.

The President has not commented publicly on the amendment. But on Wednesday, Prime Minister Robert Abela hinted that Vella is uncomfortable with the proposal when asked about reports that the President would resign if the law came before him.