Pro Malta Christiana and Edwin Vassallo argued that there is nothing to celebrate in the Government’s decision to pass the amended abortion laws. Irrespective of the rifts within the Labour Party and the alleged threats that President George Vella would have resigned if the Government brought the abortion bill for his signature, this is still a victory for those in favour of abortion. The Prime Minister succeeded in passing an important amendment. Private clinics are now going to be allowed to perform interventions in cases of mental health and dangerous pregnancy. Therefore, doctors in private clinics are being given a free hand to perform abortions in those situations where they deem that there is an issue of mental health or a risk to the mother’s health.
Finally, through this amendment, the associations have achieved what they wanted. They asked for abortion in four situations
- To save a woman’s life;
- To preserve a woman’s physical and mental health;
- In cases of rape or incest;
- In cases of fatal foetus impairment.
In other words, there is the chance for the mushrooming of private clinics that enable access to sexual and reproductive health services through a number of community-based clinics that provide services that are gender and age-based. These clinics will be authorised to conduct outreach to marginalised groups.
This law does not specify what type of private clinic will be allowed to provide this service. Therefore, the issue here is going to be the licensing of these private clinics. One of the issues behind the claim for abortion is the opening of these private clinics. The whole issue here is about the licensing of these private clinics.
Now, the Government is allowing abortion interventions in licensed clinics. Thus, this legislation came at a moment in the history of America when US Donations were drying up, and associations in Malta in favour of abortion were losing funds from America. No wonder those associations in favour of abortion are losing money. This explains the worry these associations in favour of abortion are expressing in Malta. Moreover, these associations are not funding America because abortion demands in America are now down.
This is another reason America cannot remain funding Malta as it used to do, to support the introduction of abortion. Therefore this clause will allow the setting up of private clinics. EU will end up paying for abortions in Malta. One does not exclude that women will be flown to Malta from Africa to perform abortions. In other words, this amendment still gives those who want to make money from abortion clinics a quick buck.