Parliamentary Secretary Deo Debattista has called on the government to set up “pro-life clinics” to offer support to pregnant woman while discouraging them from seeking abortion abroad.

“It is high time we walk the talk on promoting life by offering pregnant women much needed support,” he said in parliament on Wednesday.

Speaking during the debate of the Embryo Protection Authority's financial estimates, Debattista, a medical doctor, noted that each year between 60 and 80 Maltese women go to the UK for an abortion. Such figures emerge from registries kept in clinics across the UK.

While insisting he was not seeking to cast any judgment on these women, Debattista said it was high time that the government stepped up its support to discourage this practice.

“The government should set up pro-life clinics to support these women and help them overcome the challenges which pregnancy brings with it,” he said.

“At present their choice is either to face their problems alone or set an appointment for an abortion abroad. Such options do not leave a lot of room for choice,” he said.

While noting that there are NGOs that offer support to pregnant women, the parliamentary secretary said the government should intervene to do its share as well.

Debattista acknowledged that Malta was the only EU country where abortion is illegal but insisted this did not mean there was something intrinsically wrong.

“Universal faith is not a universal truth. Until the advent of Galileo and Copernicus everybody thought the world was flat,” he remarked,

“I believe these pro-life clinics will be of huge support to the mother and give a chance to the baby. If we manage to save just one life, it will be worth the effort and expense,” Debattista insisted.

He said such clinics would also help to reverse the declining birth rate and promote the work of the Embryo Protection Authority to promote life.

 “Apart from preaching in favour of life I am bound to offer support” he said.


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