When Latvian Nils Muižnieks took up his position as Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe in April 2012, in his welcome address he said: “It is my intention to keep human rights high on the agenda of European countries and to contribute to the development of more humane policies benefiting both present and future generations.”
Muižnieks was in Malta, a sovereign State, last November using very tough language against present and future generations of unborn children in Malta.
It is becoming clearer that he came to Malta to give a helping hand to the one or two women’s organisations in Malta who, while declaring that they are neither pro nor against abortion, are doing their utmost to introduce abortion in Malta.
Probably he was pushed, or lured, to come to Malta to preach abortion, and then proceed further by writing in the local press, “to start the ball rolling” for the introduction of abortion.
This, after the same women’s organisations succeeded in introducing the morning-after pill through a very fine subterfuge, through the Medicines Authority and its CEO. Map is considered abortive in many medical and pharmaceutical quarters, locally and abroad.
They are now trying to introduce abortion in Malta by using the powerful position of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. And Muižnieks is letting himself be used in this way.
At the beginning of February MaltaToday published the result of a survey on abortion in Malta which showed an overwhelming rejection of abortion across all age groups. Ninety-seven per cent of those interviewed said they were against unrestricted abortion at whatever stage of the pregnancy.
Yet, towards the end of February Muižnieks was either oblivious to this survey or, worse, arrogantly ignored it altogether and, again, came out, this time in the local press, preaching abortion in Malta against the wishes of the big majority of the Maltese.
The Europoean Union, of which Malta is a member state, does not interfere in these matters in any state of the Union. In fact, when Malta joined the EU in 2004 the Maltese government insisted, and succeeded, in signing a protocol with the EU which stated:
“Nothing in the treaty on European Union, or in the treaties establishing the European Communities, or in the treaties or Acts modifying or supplementing those treaties, shall affect the application in the territory of Malta of national legislation relating to abortion.”
The Maltese Prime Minster himself came out strongly, lately, even before the result of the latest survey on abortion was published, declaring that the big majority of the Maltese do not want abortion.
Yet, Muižnieks keeps meddling in Malta’s internal affairs by dictating what the Maltese should do in this matter.
The six Maltese members of Parliament in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe should raise up this matter in the parliamentary assembly to have Muižnieks stopped from flagrantly continuing to abuse Maltese hospitality.
Our Equality Minister should also come out insisting that Muižnieks should stop meddling in Malta’s affairs by making known to him the Malta government’s position on abortion, explained by the delegation which she led, and which was spelled out in its declaration at a UN Conference on Malta in Geneva in December 2013, which stated:
“The delegation reiterated the [Malta] government’s belief in the need to protect the right to life, including that of the unborn child. It expressed the view that, as human life begins at conception, the termination of pregnancy through procedures of induced abortion at any stage of gestation, was an infringement of this right.
“Malta, therefore, could not recognise abortion or any other form of termination of pregnancy as a legitimate measure of family planning. Where the life of a mother was at risk, a medical intervention to save her life, even if that could result in the death of the child, was not precluded.”
In his article, Muižnieks said he is “aware that some argue in favour of restrictions on access to abortion on the basis of a purported prenatal right to life”. Then he adds: “After a thorough analysis of how the right to life is interpreted within core treaties, it is clear to me that this right does not apply prior to birth and that international human rights law and mechanisms do not recognise a prenatal right to life.”
Definitely he is not informed and he should be considering his position as a CoE commissioner.
He should know that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which entered into force on September 2, 1990, in its preamble declares very clearly that “bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth”.
Muižniek ignores this also and keeps harping only on women’s reproductive rights.
He says that “the international human rights law and mechanisms do not recognise a prenatal right to life”.
The Association of Pre & Perinatal Psychology & Health in the US, the International Society for PreNatal & PeriNatal Psychology & Medicine in Germany and the World Organisation of Prenatal Education Associations in Spain have been promoting womb ecology in world ecology for many years already. In his videos An Introduction to Pre and Peri-Natal Psychology, Thomas Verny, psychiatrist and family therapist of world fame, expressed his view that if it were for him all pregnant women would wear a T-shirt with the words on it “baby under construction”.
In his capacity as Commissoner for Human Rights, Muižnieks should start talking much less on abortion, anywhere in the world, and start promoting much more the human rights, the legal and other protection and the wholesome human development of all unborn children all over the world.
Let Muižnieks come to Malta again, after all, not to talk on abortion but to take part in the forthcoming national conference on womb ecology, on the first environment to man, the mother’s womb, which the Malta Unborn Child Movement, with the collaboration of the three international organisations named above, and Verny, will be organising in the coming months with the Speaker of the Maltese Parliament and the political parties of Malta.
Muižnieks should know also that on February 4 all the political parties in Malta, including the Labour Party in government, together with the Acting President of Malta and Archbishop Emeritus Paul Cremona celebrated the dignity of human life from conception at the manifestation in favour of life organised by MUCM in Valletta.
Tony Mifsud is coordinator of the Malta Unborn Child Movement.