If I could transcribe one of the most brilliantly delivered speeches by Stephen Fry on the major flaws of the Catholic church and use it as a template evaluation for Malta’s pro-life stance, I would. However, that would be blatant plagiarism, and I can only but dream of achieving Fry’s alacrity. So instead I’ll just be giving you my contained musings on the latest documentary by Euronews on Malta’s abortion laws to the best of my abilities, and with as much restraint and diplomacy as I can muster.
The documentary is titled, Malta’s abortion ban: “I’m not a criminal. I’m a loving mother.” Let’s start with the word ‘criminal’. According to WHO, an approximate 43 million abortions were carried out across the globe in 2008. Therefore, in the eyes of the Maltese law courts and the Maltese psyche, 43 million women in the world are, essentially, criminals. 43 million women, some of whom have probably popped over for a nice sunny holiday at some point to our beautiful island. Yes, indeed. Think of all those ‘criminals’ we’ve allowed to go through our airport security. We’ve let these jezebels sunbathe on our beaches, rest in our hotels, dine in our restaurants.
Here’s an idea: if we so refuse to taint our island with abortion, then let’s go the whole hog and interrogate every female tourist before she crosses the schengen threshold. If she’s so much as taken the morning-after pill in all her years of living, we’ll boot her back to her heathen liberal homeland.
“In Malta… motherhood is a cult.”
No truer words have been spoken. Now, I implore you not to take what I’m about to say the wrong way. I’ve recently become a proud aunt and I’m friend to many a mother, and motherhood is an indescribably beautiful state of being. However, I feel that this island’s been marinated in Catholic indoctrination to such an extent that many of our women have been drained of any flavour for ambition other than to become mothers. The vivid memory from my days at my old convent school confirms this. The aspirations of career driven students were often downplayed by the nuns – as if they were trivial simpering fantasies – and dampened with reminders that we should first and foremost be good Christian women who should, above all, raise armies of babies. Not to mention the outdated and fabricated 80s pro-life documentary that we were forced to watch during a PSD lesson, and the warped imagination of one nun who was convinced that straight after copulation, a tiny Polly Pocket baby was formed but very quickly acid-blasted by a monstrously evil morning-after pill. No wonder our women are in such maternal limbo. Years of misinformation and brainwashing have held us down into the marital spread eagle, ready to go forth and multiply as is humanly possible, lest we want to be regarded as social failures.
The centre run by the Ministry of Education which is featured in the Euronews documentary helps pregnant girls aged between 12 and 18 grasp the reigns on motherhood without losing grip on their education. I wholeheartedly commend and congratulate the centre for all its compassion and hard work, but the fact that we’ve got pregnant 12-year olds is a red alert in itself. Allowing- nay, forcing a 12-year old child to give birth is utter madness. On top of that, the centre seems to be focusing on the responsibility carried out by the mothers-to-be. Are the fathers roped into this preparation process at all? Surely a boy or indeed a man who got a 12-year child pregnant is, to put it mildly, in desperate need of some form of guidance.
“Abortion is rarely talked about in the medical community. Speaking openly would cost this doctor her reputation, perhaps her job.”
It’s like something out of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, isn’t it? What a wonderful method to muzzle the nation into silence and ignorance. Not even our own scientific minds are at liberty to discuss and debate a very regular procedure within the medical profession… unless they’re regurgitating pro-life propaganda. The interviewed doctor says that she’s encountered women returning from hasty abortions who exit the plane “sedated and bleeding”. Now, the probability is that women experiencing complications after quick and probably unsafe abortions cannot seek medical help, for fear of their doctor grassing on them to the police. Even doctor-patient confidentiality is wavered… as is the person’s well-being.
The doctor also speaks of women who are denied abortions for “foetuses who have no chance of survival”, and must therefore watch their baby die or give birth to a stillborn right after hours of labour. I understand that we live in a cruel world, but is a nation of 400,000 with a Christian majority THAT cruel? Reflect on that.
Interestingly, Gift of Life runs a course led by psychotherapist Eleanor Borg which helps pregnant women or those who’ve had an abortion. She’s noted that Maltese women who’ve aborted overseas cannot heal, as they’re not allowed to grieve or talk about what they’ve been through because their society will ostracise them, or worse, have them imprisoned. Again, this course is a positive step in the right direction, and it’s refreshing to see a medical professional reaching out and lending her ear. However, who’s to say that perhaps women are afraid to approach this service, for fear of their ‘crime’ being exposed?
Abortion’s not the problem, and neither is it the morning-after pill. The problem is this sanctimonious and holier-than-thou society that is parasitic on condemnation and parochial judgement, intent on radiating the church’s dogmatic submission of women. The problem is the nurturing of a rabid slut shaming lynch mob that subjugates all those who dare to defy their religious protocols in another country. I’m sure the Galilean carpenter would be very proud.