Malta's Regressive Anti-Choice Groups
In response to our press release (dated 28.01.2020) which urged the President of the Republic of Malta to consider disassociating his Office from individuals and organisations that are working hard against human rights and civil liberties, particularly of women and the LGBTIQ minority, the Office of the President responded with the following:
“President George Vella has denied ever being part of a group that worked against civil rights such as divorce, IVF and LGBTIQ”
We would like to stress that our press release never stated or insinuated that he formed part of such a group. We merely pointed out that by His Excellency’s participation and sharing the stage with groups that are against the civil rights of women and LGBTIQ individuals, the Office of the President is giving a tacit if not explicit support to their activities.
The programme of the event, as published by the organisers, and as reported by the Times of Malta (1) and LovinMalta (2) on the 27th January, clearly states that the President is actively participating in the event and that he will address the audience. If the President is merely attending the mass, as the Office of the President's reply seems to suggest, then the misinformation came from the organisers of the event in an attempt to use the good name of the Office of the President to further their cause.
We would like to further highlight the ideologies and the aims of some of the organisations listed as speakers during the event to be attended by His Excellency:
LifeNetwork Foundation is publicly associated with “Agenda Europe”, a loose coalition of around 150 extreme right wing organisations working to remove human rights and civil liberty laws in Europe and replace them with “natural laws”. This means abolishing or curtailing the right to divorce, the right to access IVF, sexual education and access to contraception, the rights of LGBTIQ minorities, and reversal of all and any gender equality and gender based violence laws anywhere in Europe, Malta included. This has been documented and reported locally by Inews on December 29th 2018 (3) and by MaltaToday on 30th December 2018. (4)
Gift of Life director Paul Vincenti is well known for opposing and actively campaigning against civil liberties in Malta. Paul Vincenti and his organisation have opposed the right of LGBTIQ people to marry and adopt (5), equality laws & sex education (6), and the introduction and improvement of IVF laws (7). Also noteworthy are his occasional rants about “extreme feminist, leftist, Marxist, homosexual agenda” (8). If that is not enough, just a casual scroll through the posts on Gift of Life's Facebook page provides plenty of evidence that this organisation is dead set against civil rights and liberties, especially of women and the LGBTIQ minority.
Tony Mifsud, Coordinator of Malta Unborn Child Platform has for years lobbied political parties in Malta to enact laws protecting “wombs” by applying his “womb ecology” theory (9) that reduces women to nothing but incubators. Parallel to that, he also lobbies for laws that will “devise a strategy, a scheme, a plan, to halt the flight of unborn children out of Malta for the purpose of abortion” (10, 11). We shudder to think how these laws would function in practice, how many human and civil rights of women in Malta would be breached and how much pain and suffering they would create.
Under the pretence of “protecting” the unborn, these organisations work and lobby to remove and deny rights to women, the LGBTIQ minority, and the general population in Malta which places them firmly on the far right end of the political spectrum. We repeat: by sharing the stage and participating in the event organised/facilitated by these organisations, the Office of the President will provide its approval for their ideology and therefore be tainted by it.
Last but not least, if such events were traditionally attended by the President and/or other politicians and dignitaries and nobody ever voiced opposition to it, then this will change. Voice for Choice was formed less than a year ago, and we will be another voice for freedom and against forces that work against human rights and civil liberties in Malta.