A bill published on Monday would allow the termination of a pregnancy even in cases of mental health conditions affecting the mother, experts warned on Tuesday.
In a brief statement the experts in medicine, science, social and family policy, philosophy, ethics, psychology and law, said that the bill opens the door for the introduction of abortion in Malta.
They observed that the text does not only speak of instances of termination where the woman is at risk of dying, but also adds the words “or her health is in grave jeopardy”.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations have declared that the word “health” also means mental health.
"Therefore, with the government’s amendment, a pregnancy can be terminated, not just in cases where the woman’s life is at risk, but also in cases of mental health conditions. This means abortion will be allowed if a woman is going through serious mental conditions, none of which should ever justify the sacrifice of a baby’s life," the group said.
They proposed that the new law should state that no crime would be committed when the death or bodily harm of an unborn child results from a medical intervention conducted with the aim of saving the life of the mother.
The statement was signed by professors Charles Savona Ventura, Kevin Aquilina and Mgs Emmanuel Agius and a full list of professionals who are supporting it will be published with a more detailed statement.