Doctors demand anti-abortion statement from Commissioner for Children

Pro-life doctors pile pressure on Commissioner for Children after comments on UN Committee for the Rights of the Child calls for decriminalisation of abortion

Children's Commissioner Pauline Miceli
Children's Commissioner Pauline Miceli

Doctors from the anti-abortion organisation Doctors For Life have called on the Commissioner for Children to declare her position against abortion.

The statement comes in the wake of a mounting campaign in favour of women’s reproductive rights and the pro-choice doctors’ group Doctors For Choice.

Doctors For Life demanded an “unambiguous” statement from Pauline Miceli to “fulfill her statutory role” by coming out against abortion.

“One of the Commissioner for Children’s chief functions, is to ‘promote special care and protection, including adequate legal protection, for children both before and after birth.’ However, recent media reports have raised concern by indicating that the Commissioner’s Office may be seen as wavering in its support of current Maltese legal protection,” Doctors For Life claimed.

Commissioner for Children Pauline Miceli recently noted the recommendations of the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child, which called for an end to the criminalisation of abortion “in all circumstances” and for a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health policy for adolescents to be implemented.

Miceli said that that such education, including contraception, should be further developed, strengthened, and be made mandatory in all schools. “Just as children are too young to marry, they are also too young to have children. When this happens, mostly in an unplanned way, children of either sex should be given all the support they need to face the challenges of child-bearing and child-rearing so that these do not stall their individual development.”

Doctors For Life, which says has 670 doctors including the President of the Republic, George Vella, agreed that education on contraception should be made mandatory in all schools.

But it said the Commissioner had to “fulfill its statutory role in defence of the preborn child”, adding that human life “begins at fertilisation, then the preborn child is indeed deserving of the full protection of the law.”

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