The Gift of Life has called for an “urgent and clear reaffirmation” of the pro-life values of the Nationalist Party following a public statement made by one of its youth members, reported in today’s Times of Malta.

The newspaper reported 18-year-old executive member of the Nationalist Party’s youth section Jamie Vella saying he believed abortion should be available to “those who need it”.

In a statement, the Gift of Life said one's personal opinions were always respected, however, when a member of the party’s youth stated that that the killing of unborn babies should be allowed by law, the public have an urgent right to know whether the Nationalist Party's position had indeed changed on the matter of legal abortion.

In a statement this morning, the party said its position was and remained against abortion. This clarification, it said, had already been included in Times of Malta's report.

The party said that the fact that a member had a different opinion on the matter did not mean that the PN's position had changed. It was the member himself who  made it clear that what he stated what his personal opinion and that his party's position was different. The PN reiterated it would not be punishing the member because of his opinion.

When making his statement, Mr Vella acknowledged that his views were not in line with the PN’s stand on the matter but said he was confident his opinion would be tolerated.

“I am fully aware that my personal opinion goes against the party line but, in spite of this, I feel fully confident to express it either way.

“I know that, although many within the party structure might disagree with my opinion, it will be respected and tolerated, as was the case with the Civil Unions Bill, for example.

“In the last two years, I have seen the PN transform into a more accepting party towards people with certain differing opinions – such as myself – while maintaining its core values,” Mr Vella said.

Mr Vella voiced his views through a Facebook post where he criticised anti- Gift of Life for their “scaremongering attitude” towards anyone who dared even discuss the prospect of abortion in Malta.

In its statement, Gift of Life said Mr Vella failed  to see the monstrous contradiction in his statement that he was confident that his opinion would be tolerated given that abortion killed a human being, and thus, removed from that same individual, their very own right to have an opinion on their very own future.

“Is this not also the most intolerant of attitudes towards a more vulnerable member of our kind? Does the Nationalist Party agree with this?... Does the nationalist party consider abortion to be a right?

The organisation insisted that the most important value was the absolute value of each human life from conception.

“Does the party still hold this value as a core value?”

It said it expressed the concerns of the many thousand pro-life Maltese who needed to know that their values are truly represented.

Asked about Mr Vella’s views yesterday, a PN spokesman told Times of Malta: “This is entirely his personal view and it is not in line with party policy. However, he is entitled to his personal opinion and will not be victimised because of it.”

Times of Malta asked Mr Vella whether his views meant he was in favour of abortion. He said the reason for his post was mainly to encourage an open debate on the matter.

“I think people should be free to express whatever opinion they might have when it comes to abortion (or any other issue, for that matter) without being labelled ‘anti-life crusaders’, ‘cowards’ and whatnot...

“To be clear, I am in no way a promoter of abortion but if anyone should need one, I believe that my own personal opinion should not stand in their way.

“I am in favour of any principle that gives people the responsible authority over their own bodies. Who am I to dictate what other people should and shouldn’t do with their body? I believe abortion should be available for those who need it,” he said.

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