Evarist Bartolo on Thursday became the latest former Labour minister to come out against the legal amendment which will allow the termination of pregnancies where the mother's life or health are in danger, saying it is a rushed amendment which creates more problems.

The amendment has already been criticised by former minister (and former president) Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and Joe Brincat, and President (and former minister) George Vella is reportedly also concerned.

Bartolo was a long-serving former education minister and also served as foreign minister until the 2017 general election. Just over a decade before he had been one of the leaders in the introduction of divorce.

In a Facebook post on Thursday he said a doctor who had helped mothers deliver their babies for many years had spoken to him, saying that whenever there was some sort of danger to the life of the woman, he always saved her.

But he was worried that the amendment that the government had presented in parliament would prevent him from doing what he had always done .

"Whatever your good intentions, does it make sense to propose a solution that creates more problems?

"What is instigating this amendment?" Bartolo asks.

"This amendment was meant to make matters black on white instead of grey. But the grey areas will remain. There would still be issues of personal interpretation about what constitutes a danger to the mother and what is abortion."

Bartolo observes that if things go wrong, the doctor will still be liable to prosecution.

"If we want to seriously discuss abortion and answer delicate questions on issues such as incest, rape and severe disability, wouldn't it be better to start an open discussion instead of shocking the country with an ill-thought step?"  

To launch a crusade and carry on, whatever was like those who acted like lions.  Machiavelli used to say that a successful Prince should display the characteristics exhibited by both a lion and a fox - he should be as wise as a fox to detect the traps and like the lion to scare the wolves, Bartolo says.

Those who acted simply like lions are stupid, and the prince needs to be wary of them, he adds.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us