The introduction of abortion is among the discussions that the country needs to have even if it could be unpopular, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Monday.

Speaking after a three-hour meeting of the Labour Party's executive and parliamentary group, Abela said:  "The discussion on abortion is one of the topics we need to talk about,"  while adding that he was not saying that abortion should be introduced.  

He said the country had for too long been afraid to discuss the topic in a mature way even when hundreds were criminalised for having an abortion.

"Even if the discussion does not result in the introduction of this right, we would have had an informed discussion instead of keeping people in fear," he said.

This, he said, was not a matter of winning votes but of responsibility. 


Earlier on Monday Abela said that the electorate expected courageous decisions from the government in the wake of Saturday's elections.

"The PL needs to take necessary decisions for the country, even if they are not immediately popular but will be appreciated in the long term," he said. 

Four years ago, on becoming prime minister, Abela had said that he was opposed to the introduction of abortion, warning that if former prime minister Joseph Muscat proposed it, he would oppose him.

On Monday evening, Abela said that other topics that needed to be discussed were euthanasia and reforms in the family court.

Abela insisted that the decision a few months ago to revise a law that would allow terminations when a woman's life was in grave danger was not a mistake. It had achieved its purpose by allowing doctors to intervene when a pregnant woman's life was in danger, and thus women were now better protected, he said. 

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