This letter by Patrick McCrystal was published in The Times of Malta on 20th October
I visited your beautiful country on holiday from Ireland this last week and I have been aware of the controversy about the so-called "morning-after" pill (October 16). As a pharmacist, I can confirm that the "morning-after" pill (MAP) is abortive. The abortive effect is its predominant mechanism in stopping pregnancy.
This is because the MAP prevents ovulation (human ovum release) in only 15 per cent of cases, even if taken at the moment of peak effectiveness in the woman's menstrual cycle, just before ovulation. The MAP's often-cited thickening effect on cervical mucus is virtually inconsequential because it takes 24 hours for this thickening mechanism to be fully operative after pill ingestion, while sperm can be found in the fallopian tubes two to three hours after intercourse. This mechanism is effectively useless in most cases.
Thus in the vast majority of cases, the MAP prevents the newly conceived human life from implanting in its mother's womb and the baby dies and passes out unknown to its mother.
There is another dimension to the MAP publicity which Malta is now witnessing that is not confined merely to cold clinical, scientific fact. The survey of Maltese university students last week raises the subjects of divorce, contraception and gay issues. While the students cited were laudably against abortion, precisely the same type of publicity has been employed in Ireland these last 10 years to effectively "soften up" the pro-life culture to pave the way for legalised surgical abortion. A key part of this has been to agitate for a loosening of the sexual ethic, a route down which Ireland has significantly travelled. Malta does not need to go the same way.
In a sense, Malta is undergoing its new "siege", not of guns and cannons but of a new though equally deadly type of cultural disintegration. Your proud culture and sound religious and pro-life ethic makes Malta the envy of the rest of the world and no less in the abortion sense. Your cultural and religious practice is the most powerful and effective blockage to the advocates promoting a disintegration of the sexual ethic, and they know it.
Malta has shown its mettle before, can hold its head high and need not go down the road of cosmopolitan secularism and the name of so-called progress.