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Maltese President Marie Louise Coleiro Precahttp://president.gov.mt

Malta’s recently-elected president, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, told a delegation of pro-life advocates last week that her government would never legalize abortion.

During a “courtesy meeting” with Malta Unborn Child Movement (MUCM) an umbrella group representing 45 local organizations, the president said she is “personally dead set against” abortion and that as president, she would never sign such a legislation, MUCM said.

After the legalization of “limited” abortion in the Republic of Ireland, Malta became the last European nation, and one of the last in the world, to totally outlaw all abortion. The tiny Mediterranean country has been the target of decades of relentless pressure to legalize abortion at the international level.

A member of the group, and the co-founder of Life Network, the country’s newest pro-life activist organization, told LifeSiteNews that the president “realised that over the issue of abortion, although Malta does not enjoy a universal consensus, it was imperative that we all worked together in promoting the protection of the unborn child and against abortion.”

Dr. Miriam Sciberras told LifeSiteNews, “The President said she wanted the widest possible backing to combat the pro-abortion culture.” She added that the president’s words were “an encouraging pro-life shield against the anti-life movement that is being forcefully promoted both locally and abroad.”

“It’s very encouraging to have her say these things publicly. She could have chosen not to say anything, to stay silent or not invite us. If we had more people who are not ashamed to speak about these things I’m sure the situation would be much better.”

The president’s promise backs up another made by Leo Brincat, the Labour Party’s representative at the Council of Europe, who said in 2008 that there is “one unifying factor among the parties represented in our country’s parliament,” that “Malta has always spoken with one voice in its stand against abortion.”

“As for my party…there are no ifs or buts on this issue. The Malta Labour Party always was, is and will remain against abortion. The issue does not feature on our agenda.”

But the abortion mentality is growing in large segments of Maltese society, as the population, with little opposition from the clergy, slides slowly away from its historic Catholic roots. Despite an officially 98 percent Catholic population, Mass attendance has fallen dramatically in the last ten years, while during the period between 2002 and 2011, records from the UK’s Department of Health showed that 591 women travelled to Britain for abortions, a significant number in a country with a total population just over 420,000. No records are available on how many travel to nearby Italy for the same reason, though it is widely known that the practice is common.

Dr. Sciberras said the Life Network was founded this summer in response to the growth of this “anti-life mentality” that includes the contraceptive mentality and wider acceptance of the homosexualist “gender” ideology.

Artificial contraceptives are nearly universally accepted, including hormonal contraceptives, despite the fact that their abortifacient nature is well known. Although the country still outlaws both the abortion drug RU-486 and the so-called morning-after pill, a 2012 article in the Malta Medical Journal showed that contraceptive use, including “barrier method, hormonal manipulation, and sterilisation” is common.

The effects of this new cultural paradigm can be seen in Malta’s falling total fertility rate, which stands at 1.45 children born per woman, far below the 2.1 required for maintaining a stable population.

Dr. Sciberras said, “We look at the growth of the anti-life mentality, which is pervasive. It’s everywhere. We know that we’re up against a change in lifestyle that is promoting the Culture of Death instead of the culture of life.”

“Our first priority is educational, showing people the meaning of being pro-life, that it is not just a statement, it’s a way of life,” she added.

Their first educational campaign will be to reach out to schools and parishes, and the group has already identified a core of students at the University of Malta to launch a project there. UofM already has active organizations on campus making posters and pamphlets available to students promoting homosexuality and the feminist ideologies.

She said her group wanted to take up the defense of all life, at all its stages and conditions, “be it with disability, with dementia… embracing the full spectrum of life.”

Life Network is also not restricting itself to issues related to abortion and euthanasia, but Dr. Sciberras says their dedication to the “full spectrum” includes the moral defense of the natural family based on marriage between one man and one woman. She acknowledges also that the government has embraced a contradiction with its pro-life position in its enthusiasm for the homosexualist agenda’s push towards “gay marriage.”

“‘Life issues’ take place within the context of the family,” she said. “You cannot protect a child without protecting his family. He comes from the union of a father and a mother.”

“It is the right of every child to have a father and a mother. This is a basic principle.” She says that there is a growing element in Maltese society that has moved away from these principles, and warned that it would lead to conflicts. “When you start compromising, you always get in trouble. You go against the natural law,” she added.

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Responding to the recent passage by President Preca’s Labour government of the same-sex civil unions legislation, she said, “I know that a lot of things have been passed not with the consensus of all the people. Just because a government passes a law doesn’t mean it has the backing of the whole country.”

Since the surprise legalization of divorce through a referendum in 2011, Malta’s laws on the nature of the family have changed with astonishing rapidity. This year saw the civil unions bill pass, and the country’s first same-sex civil unions registered. Last year, Helena Dalli, the Labour government’s Minister for Social Dialogue headed the Maltese delegation to a UN meeting in which she assured delegates that Malta’s “new Government was fully committed to the protection of the rights of LGBTI persons.”

This month saw the passage of the “transgender anti-discrimination” bill, as promised by Dalli at a “transgender” congress in Hungary in May. Dalli told that meeting that while her government’s focus had up until then been mainly on homosexuals, they would shortly be turning their attention to “trans” people.
She boasted that her government “amended the Constitution in such a way as to provide protection on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. I am told that we are the first country in Europe to have included an express reference to gender identity in the Constitution.”

This rapid succession of changes resulted in Malta being named by the EU’s leading homosexualist organization, ILGA Europe, one of the two “fastest climbers” among EU nations with regards to the goals of the organization.

Paulo Côrte-Real, co-chair of ILGA-Europe’s executive board, said in a statement attached to the organization’s Annual Review, “It is very encouraging to see countries like Malta and Montenegro make such huge progress in the space of one year. It shows that so much is possible when there is political leadership, especially when it is coupled with meaningful engagement of civil society.”

You can learn more about Life Network here and join their Facebook group here.

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