Carmel Cacopardo: ‘Grech’s speech speaks volumes about his attitude towards women’

ADPD Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo says that abortion discussion brings out the misogynist stance of its opponents

ADPD Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo (left) and PN leader Bernard Grech (right)
ADPD Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo (left) and PN leader Bernard Grech (right)

Carmel Cacopardo, Chairperson of ADPD – The Green Party said that PN leader Bernard Grech’s speech in parliament over the legal amendments concerning abortion spoke volumes of his attitude towards women.

In a press statement about the current debate on the legal amendment on abortion in case the mother’s life and health are in peril, Cacopardo said this discussion has brought to the fore the masculinist attitude and the intrinsically misogynist stance of those who are opposing the necessary changes to clarify the legislation concerning therapeutic abortion.

“The discussion is an emulation of a Xarabank style of discussion: superficial, bombastic and manipulated,” Cacopardo said, in reference to the cancelled show that for 23-years was the most followed Maltese program.

Cacopardo referred to Grech’s speech in Parliament over the amendment as misguided. “Instead of declaring where and how he did not agree with Bill 28 – as he is obliged to do – Grech has chosen to doubt the difficulties that a particular woman had found herself in, and to top it all tried to ridicule her. He implied that she is an irresponsible woman just because she travelled while she was pregnant.”

Grech ridiculed American woman Andrea Prudente, whose case kick-started the abortion debate earlier this year, saying she travelled more than 20 hours to celebrate her baby moon.

“Grech’s speech speaks volumes about his attitude towards women. It shows disrespect towards a woman who expected by right to be given the necessary and timely medical attention, the norm in civilised countries – which was denied to her. It reveals his general attitude towards women as an inferior gender that are not capable of taking their own decisions, even in serious matters that arise from medical problems during their pregnancy,” Cacopardo said.

“Either deliberately or due to lack of knowledge on the subject, together with others in his party and elsewhere, Grech is confusing the termination required for a non-viable pregnancy, because of risks to the health of the mother early in the pregnancy, with premature delivery that may also be necessary. He has stooped low by using the false far-right American trope of abortion ‘a day before’ delivery. This is a common fundamentalist device to demonize the decisions that women need to take in conjunction with the medical professionals when faced with very difficult situations.”

Cacopardo added that many women went through the same ordeal as Andrea Prudente, saying that they were left to wait instead of being given the necessary care “considered basic in the civilized world”.

“Health risks are an important consideration – whoever minimizes them is minimizing the woman’s right to protect their health,” Cacopardo said.

“Unfortunately due to misogyny, political and religious fundamentalism and negative attitudes leading many a time to not just verbal but even physical violence, many women in Malta are afraid to recount their experiences, let alone to institute legal challenges against the state to safeguard their rights.”

READ MORE: Graffitti called for Bernard Grech's resignation, over his 'hateful rhetoric' towards Prudente