In a long interview entitled ‘Challenging the abortion taboo’ in another section of the press, gynaecologist Isabel Stabile argued that, “while abortion in Malta remains ‘taboo’ in political and even medical circles, public opinion on the issue is slowly shifting”.
Stabile is a founding member of Doctors For Choice – a pro-abortion lobby – which was set up in Malta about a year ago.
As an obstetrician and gynaecologist Stabile came back to Malta after a long medical practice in the US where reproductive health and abortion have been one and the same thing for many decades.
Stabile says that Malta’s abortion laws make no exception, not even when the mother’s life or health is at risk. She was told that local pro-life doctors argue that in practice the Thomist ‘double effect’ principle is applied in such cases (whereby it is permissible to cause harm as an unintended side effect of bringing about a good result) making any extra legal provisions superfluous.
She replied: “Yes the ‘principle of double effect’ is applied locally in such cases. However, our criminal code makes no mention of this principle, and does not distinguish between ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ termination: or any differences in the ‘intention’.”
She added: “When medical doctors follow this principle in the management of cases when the mother’s life or health is at risk, they are not in compliance with the law as it stands. That is why we believe that there should be a law that states that if the mother’s life or health is in danger, then she should have the right to decide her own management, including the option of abortion.”
An unborn infant needs tender love, care and protection- Tony Mifsud
Tony Levatino, a prominent US obstetrician and gynaecologist, who turned from pro-choice to pro-life after performing thousands of abortions, gave the answer to Stabile’s suggestion, above, at a US Judiciary Committee hearing on abortion on October 8, 2015. He said: “I want to make a comment on the necessity and usefulness of utilising second and third trimester abortion to save women’s lives. I often hear the argument late-term abortion is necessary to save women’s lives in cases of life-threatening conditions that can and do arise in pregnancy.
“Albany Medical Centre where I worked for over seven years is a tertiary referral centre that accepts patients with life-threatening conditions related to or caused by pregnancy.
“I personally treated hundreds of women with such conditions in my tenure there. There are several serious conditions that can arise or worsen typically during the late second or third trimester of pregnancy that require immediate care. In many of those cases, ending or ‘terminating’ the pregnancy, if you prefer, can be life -saving. But is abortion a viable treatment option in this setting? I maintain that it usually, if not always, is not.”
He continued: “A patient arrived one night at 28 weeks gestation with a severe medical condition. Her blood pressure on admission was very high. This patient’s pregnancy was a threat to her life and the life of her unborn child. She could very well be minutes or hours away from a major stroke.
“This case was managed successfully by rapidly stabilising the patient’s blood pressure and ‘terminating’ her pregnancy by cesarean section. She and her baby did well. This is a typical case in the world of high-risk obstetrics. In most such cases, any attempt to perform an abortion ‘to save the mother’s life’ would entail undue and dangerous delay in providing appropriate, truly life-saving care.
“During my time at Albany Medical Centre I managed hundreds of such cases by ‘terminating’ pregnancies to save mother’s lives. In all those hundreds of cases, the number of unborn children that I had to deliberately kill was zero.”
Today many US gynaecologists are using ‘the mould technique’ to perform abortions, even until the very moment of birth. They normally inject a lethal dose of the heart medication Digoxin into the baby’s heart, or into the amniotic fluid, directly through the woman’s abdomen. Digoxin gives the baby a fatal heart attack. That’s how to deliberately kill a person, however small.
Stabile declares that she feels obliged to work for “child health issues, and most especially infant mortality”. I don’t think she is honouring her obligation in this respect when she is so actively advocating for a law allowing abortions in Malta. Abortion has only one meaning, the deliberate death of an infant so small, voiceless and helpless in his mother’s womb.
An unborn infant needs tender love, care and protection. He or she should be given all the opportunities to thrive and develop in the womb to eventually be born, mature into an adult and be a respectable and responsible Maltese citizen.
Tony Mifsud, coordinator, Malta Unborn Child Platform.
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