Bernard Grech has urged people to speak out against what he says are attempts by the government to introduce abortion.

In an interview on NET TV, Grech accused Prime Minister Robert Abela of reneging on his promise to never introduce abortion in Malta.

The government has proposed legislative amendments in parliament with the aim of providing more legal certainty for doctors who terminate a pregnancy when a woman’s life or health is a serious risk.

Grech, however, insists that the law is simply a vehicle to introduce abortion.

He said a group of over 80 academics have flagged similar concerns.

The academics are suggesting the setting up of a regulatory system whereby the decision to terminate a pregnancy is a collective one involving a minimum of three specialist professionals in the field. 

“Robert Abela evidently wants to introduce abortion, even though he is pretending it is not the case. He has no principles. He just wants to increase his majority,” Grech accused.

Grech said there is a clear split within Labour over the law. He said the PL parliamentary group was only briefed about the legislative amendments after they had been presented in parliament.

“There is only one political party that is against abortion. That is the PN,” Grech said.

He said the PN is in favour of the necessary medical interventions taking place to save a woman’s life, yet the law proposed by the government is just a way to introduce abortion.

Grech urged all those against the proposed law to speak and make their voices heard everywhere, including on social media.

“We have to make it clear we will not allow the introduction of abortion in Malta,” Grech said.

Domestic violence failures

On the femicide of Bernice Cassar, Grech laid the blame for court delays and under-resourced police firmly on the government.

He said that while society has a duty to instil respect for women, it is the government that has clearly failed to address certain issues.

Grech warned that if victims do not find the necessary support when reporting abuse, they might decide to remain silent next time.

He questioned how one magistrate assigned to deal with all domestic violence cases could possibly cope with the workload.

By delaying cases by a year-and-a-half, the government is condemning victims to continue coming into contact with their aggressors, Grech said.

The opposition leader suggested that instead of spending “millions” on persons of trust and promoting plans for a metro, the government would be better off diverting those resources to the judiciary and police.

He warned that if no improvements are immediately made, the blame will be firmly on the ministers responsible.

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