More than 600 doctors have joined forces to declare their stand against abortion, saying life starts from conception and should be given the opportunity to develop.

Doctors for Life, as the group is called, incorporates 670 doctors, the majority of whom disclosed their identity in a bid to express their strong views. The full list of the doctors who agreed to disclose their identity, including President George Vella, has been sent to Times of Malta.

The move came in the wake of the setting up of a pro-abortion group last month, called Doctors for Choice, which represents anonymous independent medical professionals in favour of introducing safe abortion in Malta.

A spokesman for Doctors for Life told The Sunday Times of Malta that their principal aim was to inform public opinion on the scientific facts related to preborn children to ensure that their dignity and rights were respected.

There is sound scientific knowledge that fertilisation marks the beginning of a new human life with a unique and complete genetic identity and consequently this should be allowed to develop, the spokesman said.

However, Doctors for Life acknowledged that certain uncommon situations could require medical interventions to save the mother’s life, which may result in the undesired loss of the child.

Asked if this meant supporting abortion in cases when the mother’s life would be in danger, the group said that “abortion is never necessary”.

“Specialists in the field of gynaecology in Malta for the last 35 years are not aware of any case where it would have been necessary to abort the child in order to save the mother and are not cognisant of any case of maternal death as a result of the unavailability of abortion in Malta,” Doctors for Life said.

The spokesman pointed out that one had to make a distinction between abortion (termination) and the induced delivery of a baby who is very young for the purposes of saving the mother’s life.

“In the former, the purpose is to produce a dead baby, whereas with the latter the intention is to save the mother’s life, while giving the baby full care and a chance for life even if this chance is very small,” the group said.

Doctors for Life said they rejected the arbitrary notion that some humans were more valuable than others, thus rejecting all forms of discrimination against the preborn, whether on the basis of gender, gestational age or disability.

The group is also advocating for the optimal care of both mother and child, saying that doctors strove, with all their energy, dedication and knowledge, to save and protect life.

“Doctors know all too well the frustration and sadness of losing patients despite their best efforts and for this reason, in their conviction that every human life is precious, they are declaring themselves against abortion,” the spokesman said.