‘The odds against us are formidable, but so were the odds against David when he took on Goliath’
By Jonathon Van Maren
Editor’s note. This appeared at LifeSiteNews and is reposted with permission.
June 24, 2020 – Within two short years, two of Europe’s pro-life sanctuaries have fallen to the abortion industry.
In the Republic of Ireland, a fierce media campaign to frame the death of Savita Halappanavar as resulting from the 8th Amendment resulted in a vote for repeal in 2018; Westminster imposed abortion on Northern Ireland shortly thereafter. The Democratic Unionist Party [DUP] responded by rejecting the new abortion laws at Stormont earlier this month in a motion that passed 46-40, but the House of Lords approved the abortion regime in defiance of the valiant efforts of pro-life DUP politicians.
Unbeknownst to most, there are still several beleaguered pro-life countries left in Europe. The tiny nation of Liechtenstein has held fast, with the royal family consistently rejecting any attempt at legalization. Malta, too, has thus far retained her pro-life laws. In recent days, reports in pro-abortion media outlets such as The Guardian have begun to highlight Malta’s pro-life regime. A media clamor for change has begun, and Maltese pro-lifers have been frustrated by the bias and the deceit leveled their way.
To better understand the situation in Malta, I contacted my friend Dr. Miriam Sciberras, who serves as the chairwoman of the Life Network Foundation Malta. A public lecturer, pro-life researcher, and dental surgeon, she served as Vice Mayor of her hometown, Zabbar, and earned a post-graduate degree in bioethics from the University of Ethics on the thesis “The right of premature neonates to palliative care.” Since then, she has been one of Malta’s most prominent pro-life activists.
LifeSiteNews: What is the status quo regarding abortion in Malta?
Dr. Miriam Sciberras: The deliberate killing of unborn children in their mother’s womb by abortion in any form is illegal in Malta, as is homicide. Malta’s current position in June 2020 is that of a sanctuary for life, a very brave solitary stand which we owe to past and present political leaders, who in spite of multitudes of political pressures have always maintained our right as a sovereign country to defend life from conception.
This stand is reflected in the laws of Malta. We are currently blessed to have a staunch pro-life Prime Minister in Dr. Robert Abela. The current leader of the opposition party, Dr. Adrian Delia is also proudly pro-life, and the current President, His Excellency Dr. George Vella, is publicly pro-life. President George Vella has declared publicly that he will not sign any abortion legislation during his presidency. There are obviously lobby groups who dissent from this stand, and who argue that Malta should join the abortion bandwagon.
Pregnant women and the children in their wombs are protected by the law in Malta. Pregnant women are safe and cared for, as are their pre-born children. Antenatal care focuses on the health of both mother and child, as two distinct patients. However, in the difficult medical cases, should a pregnant woman need lifesaving medical treatment, she is always given the option to be treated, even if this could result in the inevitable loss of her preborn child’s life. We follow the principle of double effect in these cases, and an effort is always made to save the premature child whenever possible. We do not need abortion for women to feel safe. Women deserve much better than abortion.
The media has been portraying Malta’s pro-life laws extremely negatively. What is the real story?
Dr. Sciberras: The reality is that for every law in any country you will find people who break it. The same can be said for abortion. There have always been a small number of women who in spite of all this, abort their child, usually in neighbouring countries where abortion is legal. The media has taken a pro-choice inclination and the abortion lobby’s sound bites are always published mostly in a biased way. We have been noticing this change in the last few years. The local media sound bites are then amplified beyond our shores to put increasing pressure on our local politicians.
Let’s take the current COVID-19 crisis. In our local news, it was reported that there were women seeking help to abort their children, and how closing the airports has put them in a miserable predicament. Our crisis pregnancy helpline has a different story to tell. We have seen a substantial increase in calls for help, too.
The truth is that crisis pregnancies are all around us, have always been around us, and will always be around us. It is our response to this reality that will shift the balance. We must be there to help these women in need of support. When a woman has time to recollect her thoughts, when she finds help, when she is allowed to discover the truth about the beginning of life and the growing nascent life inside her womb, her panic starts to subside. Eventually she starts to feel empowered and as she struggles, we walk with her, supporting her in all her needs all during the pregnancy, birth and beyond for as long as she needs us.
We are humbled to be of service to these women as we rejoice at the number of lives saved. There is nothing as awesome as watching an abortion-vulnerable woman fall in love with her child. I have been there, sharing these precious moments, looking at tear-filled eyes rejoicing at the wonder of their newborn son or daughter, knowing that they came so close to losing them to abortion. I have also been with women who have made rash decisions that they regret, and who are trying to heal from the pain of abortion, which can surface so many years later. These are stories that are hidden from the public, and that somehow we must find ways of exposing.
We face intense media pressure that markets abortion as a basic choice that needs to be available to women. The “my body, my choice” mantra is here too. This dishonest portrayal of a procedure that involves eliminating a life as choice ignores the gruesome truth of what the abortion procedure does to the pre-born child and the trail of blood left behind. Selective amnesia ignores post-abortion trauma on the mother, father and other family members as they struggle to ignore the reality of the loss. It also selectively ignores the biological reality of pregnancy which is that there are at least two lives involved, both with their right to life.
What are abortion activists doing to decriminalize abortion in Malta?
Dr. Sciberras: Their call is to destigmatise abortion so that women who have had abortions can be made to feel comfortable with their abortion. Their call goes so much deeper than meets the eye, and we can see that the call to decriminalize abortion is not only a local phenomenon, but part of the deceptive pro-abortion vocabulary leading to legalising abortion. Decriminalization means that the action done was not a criminal act, and so the logical next step would be the push to sanction this ‘non-criminal’ act. The law is there to protect the vulnerable–in this case, the innocent child in the womb. Abortion intentionally harms this innocent life or lives, and that is why it shouldn’t be decriminalised.
Abortion activists ignore the child in the womb completely. They never define choice, or decriminalisation. The campaign of “my body, my choice” is an appealing call to arms for young teenagers who have not really thought much about what this actually means.
I would encourage anyone considering decriminalisation of abortion to have the guts to watch an abortion procedure being done and to look at the baby body parts after.
Abortion-vulnerable women and women in difficult situations need laws that protect them and their unborn children, especially in times of crisis. Decriminalisation would not favour women but their abusers. Statistics show that more than 60% of women who abort are pressured to abort by their partners. Women in these situations are lonely, scared, vulnerable, and need help. Oftentimes, when all has been said and done, it is the child born out of difficult situations that saves the mother.
The current job situation in Malta includes an increased number of foreign workers coming from the EU [European Union] and other countries. This increasing number of foreigners, most of whom have grown up with abortion being sold as contraception, choice and order of the day puts added pressure on the local caregivers and authorities to maintain the current prolife status quo. These last few years we have also seen the setting up of pro-abortion lobby groups. Initially, they started lobbying for abortion in the rare cases or exceptions, but now they have thrown off their masks of deception and are lobbying outright for abortion as a choice.
What is the response of the politicians to these efforts?
Dr. Sciberras: Most of our local politicians are pro-life and have no issues working locally. Help is available for pregnant women, as regards antenatal support, delivery and maternity benefits. There is government subsidised childcare which will allow women who want to work or need to work, an opportunity to do so. At the parish level, there are groups who help support people in need, and there are also NGOs like ours ready to support pregnant vulnerable women. However our MEPs [Members of the European Parliament] and government representatives working at EU level face a different reality. There is increasing pressure especially with EU-level policies, as abortion is now almost always included with sexual and reproductive health. The latest example we’ve seen is in the EU-coordinated COVID-19 Action plan of April 2020, a basically good package made up of 73 clauses–except the inclusion of abortion in Clause 48, not as an option but as part of the package.
Political correctness holds hostage politicians who defend life from conception. A post-truth society, which is the one we inhabit now, is no longer convinced by truth or science, but is manipulated by social media and marketing strategies.
It seems strange that not even the worldwide COVID-19 crisis can break the tight grip of the culture of death vultures on the EU institutions. Facing an impending demographic winter which threatens the actual survival of most EU countries, the EU insists on promoting abortion. At the risk of historical amnesia, the EU manages to ignore the foundations of the EU, and the Founding Fathers of Europe, and to acknowledge that the victims of wars and famines of recent decades have far outnumbered those of this current pandemic. This notwithstanding the fact that EU institutions were set up in the aftermath of World War II, when the evidence came out of abuse, torture, infanticide, human experimentation, eugenics, and outright genocide. Yet, we ignore, worse still legalize the genocide of infants in the womb, and in some countries also sanction the infanticide of children with disability.
World-wide, we are in desperate need of politicians who will courageously defend life without compromise.
What does the Maltese pro-life movement need the international pro-life community to know?
Dr. Sciberras: The international community needs to appreciate and acknowledge that there are still countries that are prolife sanctuaries. These countries are under attack as pan-global giants and pro-abortion lobbies set their eyes on making them a conquest. One can look at the situation developing in Ireland, Argentina, and Gibraltar today. A unified front in the face of this onslaught is critical and could be starting point to turning things around if we support and learn from each other.
We cannot waste time and resources fighting abortion. We are too small and our resources limited. We need a legal approach to help entrench the God-given right to life from conception to natural death. One day, when abortion is exposed for what it is and what it does, it will be abolished to the annals of history, just like slavery and apartheid.
One day the truth about human life will be acknowledged and the God-given right to life and human dignity will be recognized. Until that day, prolife movements need to continue working threefold: supporting pregnant women and other vulnerable groups, educating the public on life issues, especially youths, and being a voice for the vulnerable in the public square.
The odds against us are formidable, but so were the odds against David when he took on Goliath.