Lara Dimitrijevic reacted with remarkable haste to the article by Tony Mifsud (January 28) that challenged the stand of the Women’s Rights Foundation on abortion.
She should have dispassionately studied all the evidence presented to the Conjoint Parliamentary Committee related to the morning-after pill before supporting its introduction so wholeheartedly.
She tried to belittle MP Godfrey Farrugia by dismissing him as a family doctor and instead invoked the authority of the WHO, the International Federation of Gynaecologists and Obstetrics and the European Medical Agency. What she conveniently leaves out is that these authorities are all openly pro-abortion. These professional bodies do not care about the rights of the unborn child let alone embryos.
WHO and EMA quote scientific papers which say that the morning-after pill acts to stop ovulation. However on examining their own papers one finds that there is a major flaw and that they do not stop ovulation in the most fertile days. WHO and EMA also have different views of when life and pregnancy begin. They conveniently ignore the first two weeks of life and define pregnancy as starting at the end of implantation. These facts are very easy to research and verify.
For reasons best known to them, the local medical experts and above all Anthony Serracino Inglott, as head of the Medicines Authority, also chose to ignore the first stages of embryonic life.
Bruno Mozzanega, a renowned authority on the morning-after pill, recently gave a presentation locally. Despite being invited, Mark Brincat and Serracino Inglott evaded the opportunity to face him and challenge his claims that MAP is abortifacient.
Mozzanega did not mince his words. With great lucidity, he portrayed the abortifacient properties of these drugs that are wrongly peddled as contraceptives. He politely called on women to stop blindly believing all that was being claimed by the WHO and the EMA, stating unequivocally that if any scientific expert insists that the morning-after pill is not abortifacient, then “the expert is deceiving”.
He bluntly said that “if in the light of the scientific evidence available, a gynaecologist insists that MAP is not abortifacient, he is lying”. He presented scientific papers to back what he was saying. He is more than willing, together with others, to return to Malta to testify with scientific facts, and the challenge is open to whoever wants to debate with him.
Therefore, Tony Mifsud is definitely not talking through his hat when he contends that the morning-after pill can be an abortifacient and that calling it a contraceptive is a lie. In fact, it is worse than a lie to give false information to Parliament on a life and death issue. It is scandalous.
To this end, Life Network Foundation Malta and all pro-life groups will never accept emergency abortifacients, also falsely labelled emergency contraceptives. Maltese law upholds the well-established scientific fact that life starts at conception, and it is a disservice to the consumer that these facts are withheld.
That Dimitrijevic and her organisation help women in distress does not exonerate her wrong stance on MAP. In her article, she does not spell out what she implies by sexual and reproductive health, which is why it could easily be construed as a cheap slogan to promote abortifacients and worse.
After all, at a meeting of the European Parliamentary Committee on ‘Women’s Rights’ held with women’s organisations on February 3, Dimitrijevic and Andrea Dibbins boasted that they had campaigned successfully for the introduction of MAP showing indifference to the evidence of their abortifacient properties.
Therefore, her contention that the Women’s Rights Foundation does not have a position on abortion is most worrying and justifies Mifsud’s grave concerns. An NGO worthy of its name should have a position on such a core issue irrespective of what some of its members may think. Not taking a position speaks volumes.
We agree with her that every effort should be done to assist women facing pregnancies in difficult situations. There is widespread consensus in Malta about this. We hope that when such a worthy project really takes shape it will get the full support of all women’s NGOs.
Miriam Sciberras is chairman and Klaus Vella Bardon vice-chairman of Life Network Foundation Malta.