Updated Saturday at 11.20pm with AD's statement
Political parties' refusal to discuss abortion and reproductive rights is "frightening and unacceptable", an MEP candidate has said.
In a Facebook live video, Alternattiva Demokratika's Mina Tolu noted that local politicians seemed determined to ignore the issue.
“It seems all the political parties agree [to not discuss abortion]. But an estimated 300-400 people get an abortion overseas every year. An NGO has proposed a policy paper proposing decriminalisation of abortion in certain circumstances. The national youth parliament had also asked politicians to debate this,” she said.
Ms Tolu posted her Facebook live video one day after the UK-based Abortion Support Network announced that it would be extending its support services to Malta.
The organisation helps women contact abortion clinics and provides advice on how they can travel to obtain a safe and affordable abortion.
Its announcement prompted significant and vocal outrage.
The MEP hopeful expressed shock at some of the threats and hateful comments which followed that announcement.
“Why can’t we discuss this in a respectful and non-judgement manner? Why is our sexual education lagging so far behind?” Ms Tolu asked. “Enough of these taboos and stigmas”.
Ms Tolu, who spent years campaigning for LGBTI issues before her foray into national politics, said she had first-hand experience of the harm such taboos had on people.
“I grew up queer in Malta, before all these legal advances,” she said. “It’s time to stop silencing others”.
In a statement on Saturday, AD said it was and remained against abortion.
However, it believed in the need for a respectable debate in a democratic society, as had been stated by its candidate Ms Tola.
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