Friday, July 10, 2009

Malta speaks out in Geneva

During a debate here in Geneva on the impact of current global trends on development, including public health, Poland and Malta made excellent statements in defence of life. Both countries highlighted their commitment to reducing maternal mortality worldwide, but emphasised that this could not and should not be tackled using the evil of abortion. Malta's statement was particularly strong. Victor Camillari stated:

“we wish to reiterate our strong opposition to the use of abortion as a means through which issues relating to sexual and reproductive health may be dealt with. Any discussion of rights in connection with reproductive health cannot take place outside the framework of one of the most fundamental human rights – the right to life. Malta strongly believes that the right to life extends to the unborn child from the moment of conception, and that therefore the use of abortion as a means of resolving health or social problems was a denial of that right.

Termination of pregnancy through induced abortion is illegal in Malta. Consequently we consistently disassociate ourselves from, and consider invalid, all statements or decisions that use references to sexual and reproductive health, directly or indirectly, to impose obligations on anyone to accept abortion as a right, a service or a commodity that may exist outside the ambit of national legislation. We do so again at this meeting.”

It is worth noting that Malta has one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in Europe and also one of the lowest in the world. And it achieves this by providing an excellent healthcare service to pregnant women. Whilst maternal mortality rates are increasing in Britain, a considerably wealthier country than Malta, Maltese women enjoy a level of maternity care that is the envy of the world. Maternal health has never been dependent upon the availability of abortion, it is dependent upon the commitment of governments to care for women.