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Monday, May 09, 2005

I Don't Know What It Is

I know that my argument about women's reproductive rights is a slippery slope. However, I'm unable to remain silent as I see my country behave like the worst of religiously extremist nations.

When Justice Minister Tonio Borg brought up the subject of a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion last week, I took it as just a flamboyant jesture from a politician. Evidently I was wrong. This crazy idea has legs! Incredibly, it even has public support from the opposition party, which was erstwhile contrary to just about anything proposed by the government.

What I don't understand is why there is a need to make unconstitutional something that is already illegal!

Any Maltese woman who wants to exercise her reproductive rights has to go overseas. This is now easier than ever since we're all EU citizens. However, any woman or girl who cannot afford (financially or emotionally) to seek help overseas will be damned by consitutional law to consider doing anything else with her body than whatever is sanctioned by Malta's constitution. As if the fiery fire of hell (for those who believe in it) is not bad enough after life, we must also make some people's lives a living hell if they happen to live in Malta.

Once again, I am not advocating abortion! I am simply questioning the way Maltese authorities choose to mess with our rights as private citizens.

I pray that this is merely a show of force for national law in retaliation against the rejection of recognition for Christianity as the official religion of Europe in the EU constitution.

Anonymous Kevin Portelli said...

I cannot agree more. The same country that disapproves of the fundametalism driven terror around the world is pretty much working on strengthening the church and state bond. I hope that the rest of Europe will understand that we are not all such fundamentalists. All this however makes you many of us are not fundamentalists? From the looks of it, not many. Tonio Borg keeps getting support! Are the Maltese so blind and secluded from the rest of the world that they cannot see that they should weep rather than applaud the Justice Minister? 

1:45 AM, May 10, 2005
Anonymous John Camilleri said...

I cannot disagree more. Regardless of how the outside world might perceive us, we have the right to prevent the culture of death from spreading onto out shores. Nothing comes for free. That includes sexuality. I am sure you have walked through Rabat in the wee hours of the morning with the place filled with discared condoms. These individuals should face up to their acts in the case that their partners get impregnated. Some would rather not do so. Some would rather get off the hook. They avidly seek loopholes and if given the chance, they will seize upon them. All this is merely doing is to make abortion unconstitutional, to prevent such loopholes that might arise from being exploited.

P.S. Kev, why do we have to compare ourselves to the rest of the world? Are you implying that we are somewhat inferior to other races? 

3:08 AM, May 10, 2005
Blogger Antoine Cassar said...

These are a few questions I was going to write on my blog in Maltese, but as I see that the ball is rolling here on Toni's, here they are.

What happens if a girl is raped? Should society, or even worse, the very law of her country, force her to bring up the offspring of the degenerated fool who ruined her life? What if that girl was your daughter?

What happens if a woman's life is placed in significant danger by her pregnancy? Would it be the doctor's decision, or the decision of the judge, who doesn't even know her?

Why can't it be her own decision??? 

5:11 AM, May 10, 2005
Anonymous Kevin Portelli said...

John - This is very simple. Either we have the choice or we don't. Calling abortion the 'culture of death' is a little bit narrow sighted in my opinion. From the looks of it not only are you against abortion, you are also against the use of contraceptives. What are you after John? A little Africa...STIs, AIDS and painful upbringings. If a mother, is not ready (financially, mentally and emotionally) to raise a child, she should not give birth to the child. End of story. What do we tell the troubled child when he or she are struggling in life and headed into a brick wall because of the lack of motherly love received in their early years? Maybe we can tell'em 'oh, you should thank people like John Camilleri'. Even though you're behind bars, a total failure, and a murderer, people like John Camilleri kept the 'culture of death' away from our shores.

p.s. John progress requires us to look at other cultures, learn from them and adopt and improve certain elements of those cultures. One fine example is the Roman empire. They did not start from scratch or live in their own little nutshell. They learn from the Greeks and improved on what they picked up from their dominant and brilliant predecessors. 

8:06 AM, May 10, 2005
Blogger nigredo said...

sur camilleri, jigifieri ghalik it-tqala hija l-kastig gust ghal kondotta 'laxka'... iva, gieli kont ir-rabat filghodu kmieni, u rajtu l-munzell condoms... u niehu gost nara li f'dan il-pajjiz l-edukazzjoni sesswali qed tkun siewja... wara kollox, l-uzu tal-kontracettivi jghin sabiex titnaqqas 'il-htiega' ghall-abort (li ghalija huwa qtil punto e basta)... 

8:36 AM, May 10, 2005
Blogger Toni Sant said...

I'm glad that the discussion on this topic is so flowing. I hope that the same sort of debate is happening off-line among people who care about politician's meddling with our right to privacy.

Once again I must stress that my point is not for or against abortion. There can never be an agreement on that between those who are pro-life and those who are pro-choice. I am simply against the government making heavy handed moves concerning the legal rights we enjoy as EU citizens. 

9:56 AM, May 10, 2005
Blogger Mark Vella said...

Jalla din il-proposta ta' Borg tghaddi halli d-diskussjoni tmut darba ghal dejjem, u n-Nazzjonalisti ma jibqghux juzawha bhala tattika viljakka biex jiskreditaw lill-Alternattiva. 

1:39 PM, May 10, 2005
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abortion mainly concerns women, or their right to (or not to) choose. It amazes me how every debate on abortion is dominated by men. 

3:02 PM, May 10, 2005
Blogger Antoine Cassar said...

Anonymous: I totally agree. Funnily enough, today's phrase for the day in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo is: "Nuestra sociedad es masculina, y hasta que no entre en ella la mujer no será humana (Henrik J. Ibsen)" - "Our society is masculine, and until woman finds her way inside, society will not be human".

I agree with Mark on the Nationalist's dirty tactics of associating all "modern evils", as they would have it, with Alternattiva. A childish play on the Maltese social conscience which reminds me of a jealous and dictatorial father. It's as if they're saying "Don't you dare even try to discuss fragile topics like these, don't even think about opening your mind to reasoning, it's all rubbish that comes from abroad!" Great, so let's put abortion, divorce, piercing, tattoos, contraception, avant-garde music, abstract art, atheism and Alternattiva all in the same box: it's all a bunch of evil crap that our dear politicians are protecting us from. Minchia!!! 

4:02 PM, May 10, 2005
Anonymous Kevin Portelli said...

Toni I agree that we steered away from the topic a little bit. However, this is not just the government making heavy handed moves. This is us driving the government to do so. I do not think that the Nationalist government would have gone this route if popular belief was for pro-choice. Not at this stage, when the Nationalist party is working around the clock to gain all the lost ground. I actually think that the Nationalist party was hoping that the Malta Labour Party would be all out against Tonio Borg's proposal. It looks like sadly the MLP did not fall for it. A political victory for the MLP and another loss for the Republic of Malta. The same old broken record. 

5:07 PM, May 10, 2005
Blogger Antoine Cassar said...

With regard to the PN's tactics just mentioned, cf. this hilarious cartoon by Mikiel Galea: 

6:12 PM, May 10, 2005
Anonymous John Camilleri said...

Leaving the political aspect aside (for sure, the Nationalists are trying to make up for lost ground) and soley focusing on the abortion aspect that this discussion warrants, one has to consider the difficulties faced in dealing with this subject matter. It is not as simple as yes or no. Living in New York, as a 16 year old, you are constantly bombarded with adverts advertising divorce or abortion for $299. Is this what modern society has come down to? Divorcing someone because of some little bump (heck, people think marriage is all idyllic and whatnot thanks to all the pure bullshyt pumping across tv screens worldwide at the hands of the US cultural imperialistic machine...marriage is not all bliss...our greats faced difficulties that today would simply warrant divorce) and having abortions because people do not want to face the reprecussions (my buds Alfonso and Julien are pimps in every sense of the word sleeping with some new gal every other day...that is their choosing, not mines...however, when Alfonso got his gal impregnated, at force he forced her to seek out abortive procedures as he did not want to pay child support even though she pleaded with him to have the child...that ain't no man, that is what we call peeps like that up here scumbags). Services which were introduced for the benefit of the public have been turned into services of mass abuse. That is what the Nationalists are trying to achieve in preventing these services from taking hold on Maltese shores. (i agree, in some situations divorce is warranted but there has to be a system of checks and balances countering such abuses from taking place)

p.s. ~Antoine, if a girl had the unfortunate luck of getting raped and impregnated, she should give birth. If she feels as if she does not want the child, she should put it up for adoption. Someone will gladly adopt it.
~Values do sometimes conflict.So the higher value must take precedence over the lesser ones in such cases. There is nothing hypocritical in such exemptions. In such cases, both lives would go so it would be necessary to save one of them.
~While not against the use of contraceptives, one should use them accordingly. The fundamental purpose of sexual intercourse is to bring two parties together, to express their love for each other that serves to make up that union. Whatever you say, such people as those in Rabat are not truly expressing their love for each other in order to strenghten a union. Rather, they are doing it as a one night stand for the fun of it with no intention of forming a union. Sexual intercourse is not there for the mere plesure of personal gratification, rather to build unions. When the US cultural imperialistic machine is turned off, these aformentioned observations will become clearer. People in the States have realized that life is not what is projected in Hollywood. People in Europe still have to come to grisps whith such a mentality. The US, as any other great or not so great nation, is not heaven on earth. 

11:12 PM, May 10, 2005
Blogger Roderick Mallia said...

John Camilleri said... ~Antoine, if a girl had the unfortunate luck of getting raped and impregnated, she should give birth. If she feels as if she does not want the child, she should put it up for adoption. Someone will gladly adopt it.

But of course! Ever heard that pregnancies are 9 months long? As if the trauma of the attack itself is not enough, the poor victim would have to suffer a further 9 months. Why should the woman be forced to give birth to a child just because someone decided to say so? And have you ever heard about the possible complications of a pregnancy? Why should she carry a rapist's child? Why should she be exposed to such a risk when she clearly did not want to be involved in such a situation? For every argument you bring up in favour of the 'human rights' of a not yet developed, parasitic ball of cells, there are others which can do just the same for the mother's rights.

I think that trying to draw a clear, definite line by saying that a woman should carry on the pregnancy, etc is being a bit too irresponsible and rash. Before you decide to jump to conclusions by trying to be so-called pro-life and defend the foetus' rights, just try to look at both sides of the coin first, and think about the woman's rights as well. 

6:45 AM, May 11, 2005
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that once the prohibition of abortion is inserted in our constitution, we won't even discuss the issue anymore. The constitution is there to safeguard democracy and not to make the discussion of controversial phenomena a taboo. 

9:44 AM, May 11, 2005
Blogger Antoine Cassar said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator. 

4:13 PM, May 11, 2005
Blogger Antoine Cassar said...

I totally agree with Roderick. For a girl or woman to gestate the rapist's child for an entire nine months, give birth and then "put it up" for adoption (to use JC's same words), well, that could be a wise solution, provided it is her choice and not imposed upon her. I'm just trying to imagine the innocent girl having to go through all that shame and misery... if I think about it much longer it will bring tears and I won't be able to do anything else for the rest of the day. It's difficult to be objective or maintain a detached viewpoint in issues like this. Who are we to put her in a cage? Who are we to further deepen her grief and demoralisation, waving the pro-life flag and carrying a small wooden, silver or gold cross around our neck? 

4:15 PM, May 11, 2005
Blogger nigredo said...

apparti l-kwistjonijiet ta' l-abort u mhux abort, din l-affari ghandha konsegwenzi ohra koroh... l-ewwelnett tidher cara li din hija stunt biex bhas-soltu l-matlin jidhru qaddisin fuq il-qaddisin... il-fatt li dejjem iridu jaraw f'min iwahhlu hija cara (u imsieken dejjem l-amerikani jibilghuha)... li kulhadd irid l-abort mhux il-punt; GHALFEJN kulhadd irid l-abort u GHALFEJN kulhadd qed jarmi l-principji barra mit-tieqa ikunu affarijiet aktar interessanti x'tiddiskuti... inharsu lejn il-marda mhux is-sintomi... it-tieni nett, qed nergghu lura ghall-medjevalita` ta' li jkollok l-istat u l-knisja mghaffgin flimkien... mhux ta' b'xejn li l-ewwel wiehed li laqa` din il-proposta kien propju l-isqof... issa x'imiss - li jiffrustaw lil min jaqlibha lill-mara?... nippreferi naghmel abort u jghiduli midneb milli naghmel l-istess haga u jghiduli li mort kontra l-kostituzzjoni... wara kollox alla jahfer, il-bniedem ipatti... 

6:43 PM, May 11, 2005
Blogger gybexi said...

ghidu xi tridu, ahsbu xi tridu dwar l-abort - xorta ser ikun hemm hafna vjaggi li ser isiru lejn Catania... id-differenza li issa ser isiru b'mod iktar perikoluz minn qatt qabel.

hemm hu pajjizi li dejjem iktar ma jghaddi z-zmien qieghed juri x'inhu u xi jsarraf... 

7:56 PM, May 15, 2005
Anonymous ToNigaTt said...

nies check this:
especially this part in it...According to the Movement, even the political parties that are not represented in Parliament should now take the same firm stand on the abort issue... NO NEED TO COMMENT FURTHER UX ABT THE NATIONALISTS-CHURCH ON ABUSING THE ISSUE!!! araw l opinjoni ta raphael vassallo dwar l-abort-proposal... 

10:59 AM, May 17, 2005

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