Updated | Maltese MEPs vote against abortion

Nationalist MEPs vote against a resolution on equality to underline 'strong opposition to abortion', Labour MEPs vote in favour of resolution but against clauses concerning abortion

The Maltese Nationalist and Labour delegations to the European parliament voted against clauses in a 2013 equality resolution pertaining to abortion.

The European Parliament today voted in favour of an important resolution entitled "Progress on equality between women and men in the European Union in 2013".

The resolution was put forward by Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella on behalf of the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee of the European Parliament.

 This report focuses on a number of issues including the need to fight poverty, of which women are the main victims, and on the need to have more women in high positions, boards and secure jobs. 

The report also deals with the need for implementation of the maternity leave directive whilst also encouraging a focus on paternity leave.  Emphasis is also made on women and men receiving the same salaries for the same work they do as well as the need to have more child care facilities. The report further addresses the urgent need to tackle domestic violence in a more effective manner.

The PL Maltese delegation voted in favour of the resolution as a whole but against all the clauses that refer to abortion.

 When explaining their votes, the Labour MEPs made it clear that whilst acknowledging that this is an important resolution addressing the need to have effective equality between men and women, this does not in any way mean that they were in favour of abortion.

The Nationalist MEPs, David Casa, Roberta Metsola and Therese Comodini Cachia also said that they full supported gender equality, but that they remained categorically against abortion.

“It is regrettable that a report that analyses the situation of gender equality was hijacked to include unacceptable references to abortion. The PN has always maintained that this is a subject that should remain the exclusive competence of Member States, which the EU cannot and should not get involved in,” the PN MEPs said.

"We voted for all the amendments calling for improved gender equality but given that the amendments on abortion were carried we voted against the whole report to underline our strong opposition to abortion and to voice our serious reservations about attempts to encroach on the principle of subsidiarity.”