Pro-life doctors raise alarm over Labour pledge for reproductive rights

Pro-life doctors insisting that Labour pledge updated sexual health policy includes reference to sexual health and reproductive rights, a term they deem to be akin to abortion rights

Labour leader Robert Abela emerges from the University of Malta students debate during the 2022 general election
Labour leader Robert Abela emerges from the University of Malta students debate during the 2022 general election

The pro-life organisation Doctors for Life has raised concerns that Labour’s electoral manifesto includes a reference to abortion rights.

DfL said Labour’s proposal 506 pledges an updated sexual health policy that “reflects today’s realities on sexual health and reproductive rights, in all its diversity; with an action plan for aims, measures and clear deadlines.”

A DfL spokesperson said the group’s concerns on the terminology used in the proposal, specifically “sexual health and reproductive rights”, was widely understood to include abortion.

“Doctors for Life strongly affirms that the killing of early human life is unethical and that the right to life should always be safeguarded.

“To this end, Doctors for Life is appealing to the Prime Minister who has on numerous occasions clearly stated his stand against abortion, to urge the Partit Laburista to issue a statement clarifying what is being defined by ‘drittijiet sesswali u riproduttivi’, and to categorically exclude abortion from this definition, thus amending proposal 506 in order to reflect this,” the group said.

“In the absence of the above, DfL will have to assume that proposal 506 does in fact include the provision of abortion. Whilst remaining politically neutral and not advocating support for any particular political party, DfL will be advising the electorate that supporting proposal 506 of the PL manifesto, as it stands today, may be endorsing the future legalisation of abortion.”

Prime Minister Robert Abela had declared during a debate between leaders at the University of Malta that while abortion was not in the party’s manifesto, it was an ongoing debate which should not be shut down, and said there was more to do on sexual health and civil liberties in Malta.

Abela said sexual health in education should reflect today’s realities. “We will give out the contraceptive pill and the morning-after pill for free. The IUD will be offered as part of the national health service. Menstrual products will be provided for free in schools,” he said.