Constitutional amendment 'a fortress' against abortion

 

Cynthia Busuttil

  Malta Times
Valletta, Malta
  4/8/2009
  American anti-abortion priest Denis Wilde believes Malta should protect its pro-life stance by establishing this firmly in the Constitution.

Fr Wilde, from the pro-life organisation Priests For Life that preaches against abortion and euthanasia, was recently in Malta and said the island should introduce safeguards to avoid the legalisation of abortion.

"You should put your fortresses up to avoid the invasion," he said, drawing parallels between the fortresses that surrounded the island and the Constitutional amendment, which has long been called for by local pro-life group Gift Of Life.

Referring to the 1973 Supreme Court judgment which legalised abortion in the US, Fr Wilde said this made it even more important for Maltese not to be complacent and introduce safeguards.

"Right now it looks like abortion will never be legalised in Malta. But a court decision could change everything," he said, adding that, while courts could bring about changes in the law, the Constitution was much harder to change.

Around four years ago, Gift Of Life started campaigning for a constitutional amendment that would make the introduction of abortion in Malta more difficult.

Fr Wilde said he believed the amendment should state that every human was a person and should be protected from conception.

He sees the amendment as imperative to prevent the EU from pressurising Malta into introducing abortion.

A protocol on abortion was annexed to Malta's Accession Treaty, giving legal certainty that EU law, present or future, could not change Maltese law on abortion.

Fr Wilde said that, since the 1973 US ruling, a staggering 50 million "babies" had been aborted. "In the US, a baby dies from abortion every 23 seconds.

That is 4,000 deaths every day, 1.3 million per year and 50 million in the last 36 years," he said. Fr Wilde said that in cases where the mother's life was in danger if she carried on with the pregnancy, "removing the problematic organ" was acceptable.

"The Church does not look at this as abortion because the doctors are not willingly aborting the baby but rather trying to save the mother's life.

"They are removing the problematic organ, which might contain the embryo, so as to save her life," he argued.

He continued that there was a lack of education about the repercussions of abortion on women, which included sleeping disorders, eating disorders, compulsive crying, rage, anger, depression, suicidal tendencies, shame, guilt and estrangement from children.

Questioned about contraception, Fr Wilde said this had not prevented abortion but rather increased the numbers. "The most effective of all birth control is natural family planning. It also helps the couple's relationship. Those couples who use contraception are more prone to divorce," he said.

Fr Wilde was here to deliver talks in a number of schools and in churches.