AD reaffirms position against abortion, agrees with call for respectful debate

MEP candidate Arnold Cassola yesterday called on the party to distance itself from statements by another of its candidates, Mina Tolu, who said it was unacceptable that the subject wasn't being discussed by political parties

AD MEP candidate Arnold Cassola yesterday called on his party to distance itself from comments made by fellow candidate Mina Tolu
AD MEP candidate Arnold Cassola yesterday called on his party to distance itself from comments made by fellow candidate Mina Tolu

Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) has reaffirmed its position against abortion in light of comments posted online yesterday by MEP candidate Mina Tolu, in which she called for a respectful debate on the subject.

“Contrary to what is being stated by some, in online comments, AD wishes to clarify that its position on abort remains the same it has it always has been, against,” the party said.

It added however that Maltese society did deserve to have a respectful debate about the subject as suggested by Tolu.

The statement follows calls by another of its MEP candidates, Arnold Cassola, for the party to distance itself from Tolu's comments.

In a video uploaded to Facebook yesterday, Tolu called out politicians and political parties that were refusing to openly discuss abortion.

“Leaving the discussion to the comment boards and Twitter posts will not create a positive discussion, and this will harm people,” Tolu insisted, adding that shrugging off any discussion about the subject would only reinforce the taboo.  

She said the lack of discussion by politicians, parties and candidates was unacceptable, adding that she was willing to “talk about the subject in public or private, in a non-judgmental and respectful way”  

Tolu uploaded her message following the announcement that Abortion Support Network, a charity offering financial and logistical support to women seeking an abortion, had extended its services to Malta.

While Tolu’s call for a respectful debate was welcomed by some, others were less enthusiastic.

“Is the culture of death alive in kicking in some parties? You judge!” read a post by the anti-abortion group Gift of Life with an accompanying link to an article about the MEP candidate’s comments.

In a letter to the party's administration, Cassola said that while he agreed with Tolu about the need for a respectful debate on the subject, it was not AD’s task to bring the topic up for discussion given that it had no mandate from its members to do so.

“I had already told Carmel [Cacopardo] this in September 2017 when he was elected Chairperson of Alternattiva Demokratika and brought up the issue himself,” Cassola said, adding that when he accepted to run as an MEP candidate he had "clearly put the issue as one of my red lines".

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