Press release by Life Network Foundation Malta in response to the recent press conference by Minister Dalli and Prof Serracino Inglott hosting Prof Philippe Bouchard
Part of a famous quote states “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Unfortunately, in Malta, this is the case in the discussion of the Morning After Pill (MAP).
Yesterday, at a press conference, French endocrinology professor Philippe Bouchard stressed that there is no scientific evidence that the MAP has any impact on implantation. He did not make any distinction between different pills available let alone their different modes of action but just spouted out words without backing up what he was saying.
Prof. Bouchard, or those promoting him, forgot to include a disclosure in his introduction, i.e. that Prof. Bouchard has a conflict of Interest in this discussion.
Prof. Bouchard is a scientist who works for, or is engaged by, pharmaceutical companies including HRA Pharma. The relationship between HRA Pharma and Bouchard goes back to 1980. He gets consulting and research fees from HRA Pharma and others. Isn’t it a strange coincidence that HRA Pharma is the producer of MAP and that he is in fact lobbying in favour of their products overseas?
Prof. Bouchard has also been a ‘Senior Consultant to The Population Council, New York since 1986. The Population Council offers policymakers and healthcare providers the evidence they need to help communities implement safer abortion and post abortion care practices. The Population Council is pro-abortion. How can anyone in favour of aborting a child be trusted to speak in favour of protection of embryonic human beings?
The introduction of the Morning After Pill in Malta came about as a result of a campaign of misinformation. How can MAP be about self-care when it can kill an embryo? As a prolife foundation with no pecuniary interests other than to be a voice for the pre born child, Life Network Foundation invites Prof. Bouchard and Prof. Serracino Inglott to be truthful to the scientific action of the MAP. Women taking these pills deserve to be fully informed about their possible abortifacient effects.
The Chamber of Pharmacists has a right to insist on conscientious objection and also to refrain from referring to another pharmacy stocking the MAP.
Life Network Foundation Malta notes that the recommendations presented by Parliament through the Joint Health, Social Affairs and Family Affairs committee regarding the licensing of the Morning After Pill in Malta, have acknowledged not only that different types of MAP have different modes of action, but also that there are those that operate by the prevention of implantation of the embryo, thus achieving their goal by an abortifacient process.
Dr Miriam Sciberras
Chairman Life Network Foundation Malta
“Most MAPs are abortifacient in effect” says Life Network Foundation Malta
Superintendent of Public Health may become answerable at law
Life Network Foundation Malta refers to the ongoing discussion on the MAP, and the frequently misleading, as well as biased, information put about on local media, and observes that the most recent developments appear to have totally bypassed Malta’s laws, both on abortion and on the Embryo Protection Act.
The Malta Medicines Act (CAP 458) stipulates that the role of the Medicines Authority is only to give recommendations. It is the function of the Licensing Authority, a role taken up by the Superintendent of Public Health, to issue Marketing Authorisations for medicinal products intended for the Maltese market. Unless the Licencing Authority formally delegates this responsibility to the Medicines Authority, the function of the latter is limited to nothing more than making recommendations to the Licensing Authority.
The superintendent of Public Health, as representative of the Licensing Authority (or even of the CEO of the Medicines Authority in the event of such powers being formally delegated to him by the same Licensing Authority) subsequently assumes responsibility for ensuring that Marketing Authorisations (licenses) for medicinal products intended for the Maltese market comply fully with national legislation.
Therefore, abortion being illegal in Malta, if a license is issued for a MAP in the face of scientific evidence demonstrating its abortifacient properties, the issuing authority – in this case the Superintendent of Public Health – may also become answerable at law.
Life Network Foundation Malta notes that the recommendations presented by Parliament through the Joint Health, Social Affairs and Family Affairs committee regarding the licensing of the morning after pill in Malta, have acknowledged not only that different types of MAP have different modes of action but that there are those that operate by the prevention of implantation of the embryo, thus achieving their goal by an abortifacient process.
Furthermore, there is clear and objective scientific evidence, presented to the conjoint Parliamentary committee, that most MAPs are abortifacient in effect.
Notwithstanding this, the individual authorities responsible for recommendations or deciding whether, or not, to introduce this product into Malta have seemingly chosen to ignore these facts and to recommend in favour of its importation nonetheless.
Life Network, however, has no reason to doubt the overwhelming volume of evidence that points towards the abortifacient properties of MAPs and reaffirms its commitment to the defence of life from conception to natural death. The circumstances of conception are many and varied but the right to live is a value inherent to us all.
Dr Miriam Sciberras
Life Network Foundation Malta
25th October 2016
“Il-maggoranza tal-MAPs huma fil-fatt abortivi” tghid il-Life Network Foundation
Is–Supretendent tas-Sahha Pubblika jista’ jkun responsabbli quddiem il-Ligi
Life Network Foundation tirreferi ghad-diskussjoni li bhalissa ghadha ghaddejja dwar il-MAP, u l-informazzjoni zbilancjata ghal mod kif hi l-boghod mill-verita’ li qieghda tidher fuq il-Media lokali. Life Network tikkundanna l-fatt li l-ahhar zviluppi qed jindikaw li l-Ligijiet ta’ Malta qed ikunu ghalkollox injorati sew fejn jidhol id-delitt ta’ l-abort, kif ukoll fejn jidhol l-Att dwar il-Protezzjoni tal-Embrijun (Embryo Protection Act)
L-Att dwar il-Medicini (KAP458) jistipula li r-rwol tal-Awtorita’ tal-Medicini hu wiehed biss–dak li jaghmel rakkomandazzjonijiet. Hija l-funzjoni ta’ l-Awtorita’ dwar il-Licenzjar, rwol li jaqa’ taht is-Supretendent tas-Sahha Pubblika, li tohrog awtorizzazzjonijiet ta’ tqeghid fis-suq (licenzji) ghall-prodotti medicinali biex jidhlu fis-suq Malti. Sakemm l-Awtorita’ dwar il-Licenzji ma tiddelegax formalment skond regoli stabbiliti mill-Awtorita’ dwar il-Licenzjar lill-Awtorita’ dwar il-Medicini, l-uniku rwol ta’ l-Awtorita’ dwar il-Medicini hu biss limitat ghal xejn aktar hlief li taghmel rakkomandazzjonijiet lill-Awtorita’ tal-Licenzjar. Is-Supretendent tas-Sahha Pubblika, bhala rapprezentant tal-Awtorita’ghal-Licenzjar (jew Ufficjal Ezekuttiv Ewlieni fil-kaz li dawn il-poteri jigu delegati lilu mill-Awtorita’ dwar il-Licenzjar), taqa’ fuqu r-responsabbilta’ biex jizgura li l-licenzja ta’ prodotti medicinali mahsuba ghas-suq Malti huma konformi mal-Ligi Maltija.
Konsegwentement, la darba l-abort hu illegali f’Malta, jekk tohrog licenzja ghall-MAP meta hemm evidenza xjentifika cara u oggettiva li turi li l-MAP ghandha elementi li jikkawzaw abort(abortifacient), l-Awtorita’ li tohrog din il-licenzja – f’dal-kaz is-Supretendent tas-Sahha Pubblika, jista’ wkoll ikun responsabbli quddiem il-Ligi.
Life Network Foundation Malta tinnota r-rakkomandazzjonijiet li gew ipprezentati fil-Parlament mill-Joint Health, Social Affairs and Family Affairs Committee (Kumitat Parlamentari Konjunt) rigward il-possibilita ta’ licenzjar tal-MAP f’Malta, li jirrikonoxxu mhux biss il-fatt li hemm tipi differenti ta’ morning after pills li ghandhom modi differenti ta’ kif jahdmu, imma wkoll li minn dawn it-tipi hemm minnhom li joperaw billi ma jhallux l-embrijun jaqbad mal-guf tal-mara, li allura ikunu wasslu biex jikkawzaw l-abort (prevention of implantation).
Fuq kollox tezisti evidenza cara u oggettiva li giet ipprezentata lill-Kumitat Parlamentari Kongunt li fil-fatt li fil-maggoranza taghhom l-MAPs jikkawzaw l-abort (abortifacient). Madanakollu l-awtoritajiet koncernati biex jaghmlu r-rakkomandazzjonijiet jew biex jiehdu decizjoni jekk ghandiex tidhol fis-suq Malti, jidher li qed jinjoraw ghalkollox dawn il-fatti u minflok qed jirrakomandaw favur li jigu mpurtati dawn il-pilloli
Life Network Foundation m’ghandha l-ebda raguni ghalfejn tiddubita’ mill-evidenza massiva li turi bic-car li dawn il-pilloli ghandhom elementi abortivi u terga’ tikkonferma l-impenn taghha li tiddefendi l-hajja mill-koncepiment sal-mewt naturali. Ic-cirkostanzi ta’ koncepiment huma hafna u jistghu ivarjaw minn wiehed ghall-iehor izda d-dritt ghall-hajja huwa valur intrinsiku ghal kull wiehed u wahda minna.
Dr Miriam Sciberras
Life Network Foundation Malta
25th October 2016
Press release by Life Network Foundation Malta on the Morning After Pill Debate
Life Network Foundation Malta notes the positive consensus that has emerged between Malta’s laws on abortion and the requirement to adhere completely to The Embryo Protection Act.
Life Network Foundation Malta reiterates the fact that life starts at conception. The word ‘abortifacient’, as used by international bodies, deliberately disregards the first two weeks of life prior to implantation, resulting in a play on words that is unfair as well as misleading.
According to the Malta Medicines Act (CAP 458) it is the function of the Licensing Authority, a role taken up by the Superintendent of Public Health, to issue Marketing Authorisations for medicinal products to be placed on the Maltese market. Unless this function is delegated by rules from the Licensing Authority to the Medicines Authority, the only role of the latter is to make recommendations to the Licensing Authority in relation to such licensing.
The superintendent of public health, or the CEO of the Medicines Authority if such powers are delegated to him by the Licensing Authority, is responsible for ensuring that Marketing Authorisations (license) for medicinal products intended for the Malta market comply fully with national legislation.
Therefore, abortion being illegal in Malta, if a license is issued for a MAP in the face of scientific evidence demonstrating its abortifacient properties, the issuing authority – in this case the Superintendent of Public Health – may be deemed guilty of committing a crime.
Life Network Foundation Malta notes the recommendations presented by Parliament through the Joint Health, Social Affairs and Family Affairs committee regarding possible licensing of the morning after pill in Malta, that have acknowledged that:
– Different types of MAP pills have different modes of action.
– Objective studies demonstrate that these pills have a potential abortifacient effect if they prevent implantation of the embryo.
Life Network notes that the Joint Committee made it an obligation that licenses for MAP be issued only after the necessary medical and ethical studies are carried out. There is clear scientific evidence, as presented to the conjoint Parliamentary committee, that MAPs are mostly abortifacient. Therefore, if a Marketing Authorisation for a MAP were to be issued, the Licensing Authority may be held accountable for producing the unbiased studies showing the sound scientific evidence upon which the decision was based.
Finally, Life Network wishes to express its support and appreciation to those Members of Parliament who have shown themselves willing to defend life from conception to natural death. The value of life is inherent to us all, irrespective of the circumstances in which conception occurs.
Press Release 12th August 2016
Life Network Foundation Malta, referring to the current debate on the Morning After Pill (MAP)/Emergency contraceptives (EC’s), as discussed lately at parliamentary committee level hearings, notes that a number of studies have been submitted which show differing and conflicting views on the abortifacient effect, or otherwise, of the said MAP.
Purportedly authoritative papers, tabled and presented as evidence of the MAP’s non-abortive effects, such as the papers of Gemzell-Danielson et. al. and Cecilia Berger et. al., were shown to have dubious validity by further scientific papers subsequently presented by other speakers during the parliamentary committee. For instance, certain papers did not represent real life scenarios (in vivo) while others were not actual studies at all but merely pilot studies. Indeed, most of the studies presented turned out to have been based on artificial human tissues/organs inadequately representative of the full complement of tissues that could properly be said to constitute the human female body. (This was also admitted to by the researchers who carried out the actual studies.)
Life Network Foundation Malta, in consultation with the American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, presented papers which showed that the MAP does indeed cause post-fertilization changes and consequent abortifacient effects. In view of the seriousness of this issue and considering the status of protection, under Maltese law, of the preborn child from the point of fertilization, we urge all our Members of Parliament to shoulder their collective responsibility by assessing and subsequently expressing their individual views on the MAP.
Life Network Foundation Malta is making both the presentation and the documents presented to the Committee publicly available on their website (www.lifenetwork.eu). Additional scientific papers presented by third parties will also be included. The Foundation urges all interested parties to thoroughly review all the documents tabled in order to make an informed decision on the subject. The level of bias and prejudice that is emerging in the course of this discussion cannot but lead one to question the existence of unstated ulterior motives or hidden interests throughout the entire process
It is pertinent to note that different EC drugs with different modes of action have been considered without differentiation between them. Levonogestrel and Ulipristal acetate (Ella One) have different mechanisms of action. The studies presented by other scientific third parties show that certain clinical studies (in vivo) show very similar effects (anti-progesterone and negative endometrial effects) between emergency contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs (e.g. Ulipristal acetate and Mifepristone). Ulipristal acetate has anti-progesterone effects, which in turn inhibit implantation of the embryo, i.e. an abortive effect.
Abortion remains illegal in Malta and protection of life, until now, extends to all of life from fertilisation until natural death. A clear decision is therefore required of our legislators and civil authorities as to whether the MAP is abortifacient or not. This grave responsibility is rendered all the more so, coming, as it does, in the wake of several further issues that also impinge on the right to life and the dignity associated with it.
Life Network Foundation Malta would like to emphasise that this debate on emergency contraception is not simply about contraception but also about aborting a life that has already begun.
Legalisation of the Morning after Pill will signify the first breach of the dam that has, thus far, prevented the introduction of abortion in Malta.
Stqarrija ghall-Istampa 12th August 2016
Life Network Foundation Malta, taghmel riferenza ghad-dibattitu prezenti rigward il-morning after pill (MAP)/emergency contraceptives (EC’s), liema diskussjoni saret ricentement fil-livell ta’ kumitat parlamentari, u tinnota li l-Kumitat gie ppreżentat b’numru ta’ studji li juru perspettivi konfliggenti fuq l-effett abortiv tal-MAP.
Studji awtorevoli, li kienu pprezentati bhala evidenza li l-MAP mhix abortiva, bhall-istudji ta’ Gemzell-Danielson et. al u Cecilia Berger et. al, ġew meqjusa li għandhom validita’ dubbjuza minn studji ohra xjentifici li ġew ipprezentati sussegwentement minn kelliema ohra li ndirizzaw il-Kumitat Parlamentari. Per eżempju, ċerta studji li kienu ppreżentati ma jirrappreżentawx dak li jigri fil-hajja reali (in vivo), filwaqt li studji oħrajn ma kienux studji attwali imma biss pilot studies. Fil-fatt, ħafna mill-istudji ppreżentati rrizultaw li kienu bbazati fuq tissues umani/organi artifiċjali u li allura ma humiex rappreżentattivi tat-tissues kollha li jikkostitwixxu l-ġisem ta’ mara. (Dan kien ukoll ammess mill-istess riċerkaturi li għamlu dawn l-istudji).
Life Network Foundation Malta, b’konsultazzjoni ma’ l-American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, ippreżentat studji li juru li l-MAP verament tikkawża effetti wara l-fertilizzazjoni u konsegwentement fiha effetti abortivi.
Minhabba s-serjeta’ ta’ din is-sitwazzjoni, u meta wiehed iqis li f’Malta t-tarbija fil-guf hi protetta sa mill-fertilizzazzjoni, il-Fondazzjoni tappella lill-Membri kollha tal-Parlament sabiex jaghrfu jerfghu r-responsabbilta’ kollettiva taghhom, billi jixtarru u sussegewentement jesprimi ruhhom individwalment fuq il-MAP.
Life Network Foundation Malta qed taghmel il-preżentazzjoni taghha u l-istudji esebiti fil-Parlament aċċessibbli ghall-pubbliku fuq il-website tagħha (www.lifenetwork.eu). Studji addizzjonali oħra li gew ippreżentati minn terzi persuni ohra ser ikunu wkoll inklużi. Il-Fondazzjoni tappella lill-persuni kollha nteressati sabiex jaraw sew id-dokumenti li kienu ppreżentati sabiex jaghmlu deċizjoni informata fuq is-suggett. Il-livell ta’ bias u preġudizzju li qieghed johrog matul id-diskussjoni jaghti wiehed x’jahseb u jistaqsi jekk wara dan kollu hemmx xi mottivi ulterjuri, jekk mhux ukoll forsi hemmx xi nteressi moħbija.
Hu pertinenti wkoll li wiehed jinnota li hemm varjeta’ ta’ emergency contraceptives li huma differenti minn xulxin u allura jahdmu b’modi differenti. Imma dawn tqghedu f’basket wiehed u qed jiġu kkunsidrati minghajr ma saret l-ebda differenzazzjoni bejniethom. Per ezempju, il-pilloli Levonogestrel u Ulipristal acetate (Ella One) ghandhom mekkanizmi differenti ta’ kif jahdmu. L-istudji ppreżentati minn terzi persuni xjentifici juru li ċerta studji klinici (in vivo) juru xebh qawwi (anti-progesterone u effetti negattivi fuq l-utru minn ġewwa) bejn l-emergency contraceptives u pilloli abortivi (bhal per ezempju Ulipristal acetate u Mifepristone). Ulipristal acetate ghandha anti-progesterone effects, u minhabba f’hekk ma tħallix l-implantazzjoni ta’ l-embrijun, u ghaldaqstant ghandha effett abortiv.
L-abort hu llegali f’Malta, u l-protezzjoni tal-ħajja, għallinqas sa llum, testendi ghall-ħajja kollha mill-fertilizzazzjoni sal-mewt naturali. Ghalhekk hi mehtieġa deċizjoni ċara mill- legislaturi u mill-awtoritajiet ċivili taghna dwar jekk il-MAP hijiex abortiva jew le. Hija ferm inkwetanti u ta’ tħassib, din is-sitwazzjoni , u dan speċjalment in vista ta’ proposti riċenti li jmorru kontra l-valur tal-ħajja.
Life Network Foundation Malta tixtieq tenfasizza li dan id-dibattitu fuq l-emergency contraception m’huwiex biss sempliċiment dwar il-kontraċezzjoni, iżda wkoll fuq l-abort ta’ ħajja li diġa’ bdiet.
Il-legalizzazzjoni tal-Morning After Pill ikun ifisser l-ewwel pass sabiex jiddaħħal l-abort f’pajjizna.
Press Release in response to the judicial protest to call for the legalisation of the morning-after pill in Malta
Human embryonic life starts from conception. The egg released from the woman is fertilised by the sperm and the embryo created continues to grow as the new human life travels down to implant in the mother’s womb.
One of the effects of the morning after pill or emergency contraception is the alteration of the lining of the womb such that the embryo will not be able to implant and is thus intentionally lost. This is called the anti nidation (anti nesting) effect and is abortifacient.
The sale or use of abortifacients is prohibited by law.
In Malta, human life has always been protected from conception by successive governments.
Let us continue to keep the unborn protected from conception.
Co Signed by
Dr Miriam Sciberras
Life Network Foundation Malta,
Mr Paul Vincenti
Gift of Life Foundation
Mr Anthony Mifsud
Malta Unborn Child Movement