Former MP Marlene Farrugia calls on government to legalise abortion in Malta

The former independent MP wants government to go a step further on its abortion reform • “Until then, Fearne’s amendment is better than nothing”

Former independent MP Marlene Farrugia
Former independent MP Marlene Farrugia

In first comments on Malta’s abortion reform, former independent MP Marlene Farrugia called on government to introduce and regulate abortion as a decision to be taken by the pregnant woman.

“Today, a pregnant woman’s uterus is the property of the masses, and not her own. If she decides what happens with her uterus, she would be breaking the law and could face prisontime, as would those who help her.”

Farrugia had presented a historic Bill to decriminalise abortion when she was still an independent member of parliament.

She was never known to be a pro-choice politician. Indeed, he last official party statement as a Democratic Party MP on abortion was that the party was “pro-life”.

On the mental health issue, Farrugia said that mental illness can be as destructive to a woman’s life as a physical illness. “The PN hasn’t acknowledged this. It cares more about an unborn creature than a person, a born woman.”

She added that the amendment could go further. The reform still means that a separate group of experts must decide on what happens to the woman’s body.

“The PN, and everyone who thinks like it, has no confidence in Maltese and Gozitan women to decide for themselves. It wants to convey this narrative that a woman seeks an abortion frivously, and not out of absolute necessity in a country where support for women before, during and after a pregnancy are almost zero in practice.”

She continued that the PN was being insenstive and cruel towards women. “It continues to do more damage to itself at a time when the country is begging for an Opposition that makes sense. What a pity.”

Farrugia added that the Labour Party must also be honest with the public by introducing and regulating abortion as a decision to be taken by a woman herself. “It must immediately create the kind and good society it promised, so that women can live in a country where they are respected, protected and revered, where pregnancy is carried by choice and where they and their children can life in good physical and mental health.”

“We fight abortion with love towards women and children, we fight it with mercy and by creating a better country, not by imposing what happens to other people’s bodies […]