Malta Bishops Assail U.N. Pressure to Legalize Abortion

Criticize Committee’s Recommendation for Exceptions to Ban

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LA VALLETTA, Malta, DEC. 2, 2004 ( This island nation’s Catholic bishops are protesting against the pressures exerted by a U.N. Commission on Malta to legalize abortion in certain circumstances.

The bishops in a statement Wednesday referred to the recommendation the U.N. Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights made Nov. 26 to Malta.

The committee urged Malta to review its legislation on abortion and consider exceptions to the general prohibition of abortion for cases of «therapeutic» procedures and when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

«Abortion is and remains the murder of innocent persons, whatever the reason behind it,» the bishops said. «Abortion is fully contrary to the law of God.»

«The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law,» the bishops stressed.

«Taking all this into consideration, the United Nations Committee’s pressure on the Maltese state to legalize abortion in certain circumstances is objectionable and unacceptable,» they stated.

«We bishops encourage the Maltese people to remain steadfast in their appreciation and defense of human life from its conception, and in their total rejection of abortion,» the prelates urged.

They added: «We also encourage all the representatives of our people to continue not only to reject abortion without any reservations, but also to never stop pronouncing themselves in defense of life and against the killing, through abortion, of persons totally unable to defend themselves.»

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