A press release published by the Ministry for European Affairs and Equality states that the Democratic Party has shown that instead of basing its statements on facts, it relies solely on skewed analyses made by fringe groups which seem to have found fertile ground within the said party which contested as part of the Nationalist Party ticket.
Unfortunately, whoever penned the convoluted press release on the Bill tackling gender-based violence and domestic violence does not understand the distinction between the articles of the Bill as proposed by the Government, and the schedule which merely reproduces the Istanbul Convention word for word, a regular feature of Maltese legal drafting. One must point out that the European Union becoming party to this Convention was internationally lauded as one of the main achievements of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Article 39(a) of the Istanbul Convention dealing with forced abortions and forced sterilisations has been part of the Laws of Malta since June 2014 (see Chapter 532 http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=12197&l=1), yet abortion remains illegal, contrary to the PD’s insinuations. The recasting process that Parliament is currently discussing will not change that; instead, it will protect all persons who fall victim to gender-based violence and sanction perpetrators appropriately.
The least the PD should have done was to ascertain that the skewed insinuations it was fed by fringe groups were correct prior to making them theirs.