The Malta Women's Lobby on Wednesday urged political leaders to adopt a more sensitive approach on the issue of abortion.
In a statement, the lobby, whose members had diverse opinions on the issue, asked the leaders to "steer away from the polarised binary positions” saying these benefit no one.
Instead, political parties should allow civil society to debate this important subject while respecting all opinions, rather than taking one side or the other.
PN leader Bernard Grech said in a radio interview that no one in favour of abortion will be allowed to form part of, or represent the Nationalist Party.
His comments came days after PN election candidate Emma Portelli Bonnici called for an end to the “systematic abuse of women who dare to speak about controversial views” after she was inundated by a barrage of hate speech over a comment about abortion comment that she never made.
In September, Prime Minister Robert Abela had said that the debate on whether Malta should make abortion legal should continue but the "rights of the unborn" should be voiced.
“No party has the right to stifle any discussion on any subject in a civilised country and we expect better from political leaders,” the lobby said.
It added that If political leaders want fewer women to have an abortion they should offer them more support, introduce free contraception and make the morning after pill more freely available.
They should also adopt a comprehensive sex education policy and strategy that addresses these issues without further delays, it insisted.