Malta won't legalize abortion despite Council of Europe pressure, by Steven Ertelt in LifeNews.com:
The government of Malta has no plans to legalize abortions despite pressure from the Council of Europe for the nation to ditch its pro-life laws protecting unborn children. The Maltese government may approve sending a representative to the group to explain its position.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has called for an end to all laws prohibiting abortions within its member states. A Council committee released a report on March 18 with that request. Although the demand is not legally binding, the discussion of a final report on abortion on April 14 could have significant influence on the four European nations with significant abortion limits.
Following passage of the report, John Smeaton, director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, a British pro-life group, predicted it would be used "as leverage toward the creation of a right to abortion on demand in international law, which has always been the most important and ultimate goal of the worldwide pro-abortion lobby."
The Maltese government is resisting such efforts. Justice and Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici promised that a Maltese representative would appear at the April meeting to object if the nation's parliament can convene and vote for an emissary by that date. Bonnici told the Times of Malta that the Council of Europe is not like the European Union and doesn't have binding laws and that Malta would retain its abortion limits. He insisted that the nation is committed to helping women find abortion alternatives.
The pressure from the European group comes at a time when the leading pro-life organization in Malta is asking for a constitutional amendment to ban abortions and make the pro-life laws more permanent. The Gift of Life Foundation has asked MPs to sponsor legislation that would enshrine legal protection for unborn children in Malta’s constitution.