President Of Malta Vows “Never” To Legalize Abortion, Says He Would Rather Resign

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The president of Malta vowed this week that he will “never” sign a bill authorizing abortion, saying he would rather resign than do so.

Independent MP Marlene Farrugia introduced a bill in Malta’s parliament May 12 that seeks to legalize abortion, the Catholic News Agency reported. The bill is the first of its kind in Malta, which is is the only European country to totally restrict abortion. Malta is more than 90% Catholic, CNA noted.

President George Vella addressed the bill in a May 17 interview with NETnews.

“I will never sign a bill that involves the authorization of murder,” 79-year-old Vella said, the Times of Malta reported.

“I cannot stop the executive from deciding, that is up to parliament,” he said. “But I do have the liberty, if I don’t agree with a bill, to resign and go home, I have no problem doing this.”

Malta’s two main parties, the Labour Party and the Nationalist Party, have both expressed opposition to the bill, according to CNA. The Labour Party has said it would discuss decriminalizing abortion but would not put the matter to a vote, while the Nationalist Party said it would never allow decriminalization.

“You have either killed or not killed, there can be no half death,” Vella said. “I’m very clear, there are no ifs and buts.”

The country’s Archbishop Charles Scicluna also spoke out in early May against decriminalizing abortion in Malta.

“The womb of a mother is something that is dear and holy, it is there that human life can grow,” Scicluna said, the Times of Malta reported. “Let us pray that the womb remains a place of life, not a place where killing takes place.”

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