President Vella would reportedly resign if abortion amendments pushed through / Malta News Briefing – Wednesday 30 November 2022

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President Vella would reportedly resign if abortion amendments pushed through

President George Vella has reportedly taken a stance to resign if parliament approves the amendment to the abortion law as proposed by the government. The Times of Malta quotes sources which say that he is mainly concerned the proposed change would allow for the termination of a pregnancy when a woman’s health, rather than her life, is deemed to be at risk. The bill is currently going through a second reading in parliament but the wording could still be amended at the committee stage in the coming days. When, in May last year, former independent MP Marlene Farrugia tabled a private member’s bill to decriminalise abortion, Vella said that he opposed abortion without exceptions because there were “no half measures to murder”. (Times of Malta)

MUMN requests PM meeting, denounces ‘steamrolling’ of changes to abortion law

The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses has requested an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister on recent developments relating to changes to the abortion law. The Union said that the proposed drafted bill raises concerns with nurses and midwives who are major stakeholders in providing care and these concerns need to be addressed before the bill becomes law. “Steamrolling by ignoring the stakeholders who have to assist in such procedures should not be used by any politician let alone the office of the Prime Minister,” the union said. (Maltatoday)

Bottle recycling company insists it has no links with Kasco

The operators of Malta’s beverage container refund scheme have said that the scheme has no connection with the Kasco Group, which was once seeking to roll out a similar scheme. In a statement on Wednesday, BCRS said it had no links, as a company or as operators of the reverse vending machines, with Kasco, the group of companies run by former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri. (The Malta Independent)

Morning Briefing

Economy grows by 5.2% in Q3

Provisional estimates published by the NSO indicate that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2022 amounted to €4,402.2 million, registering an increase of €456.1 million, or 11.6%, when compared to the same quarter of 2021.In volume terms, GDP rose by 5.2%. The main driver behind this growth was the services sector with a contribution of 7.2%. The increase in Service activities was mainly driven by accommodation and food service activities (40.6%), administrative and support services activities (22.7%), wholesale and retail trade (9.2%), transportation and storage (15.0%) and information and communication (8%).

Femicide victim was shot in face and chest, Court told

The Court heard harrowing stories of the last moments of Bernice Cassar’s life, with witnesses saying that the mother-of-two was dragged from her car by her estranged husband Roderick Cassar, who then took a shotgun from his own vehicle and shot her twice in the chest and face. The 42-year-old is pleading not guilty to charges brought against him. Cassar refused to answer most questions about the incident when interrogated by police, saying only that he was “sorry for what happened to her”. (Times of Malta)

Govt claims legal advice that current abortion regime allows no exceptions

Government has received legal advice that Malta’s anti-abortion regime allows no room for exceptions, leaving doctors open to criminal action if they intervened to save a woman’s life. Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, PM Robert Abela said that the long-standing medical practice adopted over the years to intervene when a woman’s life was at risk enjoyed no legal protection. It was this advice by the State Advocate that prompted government to propose giving legal protection to doctors and women if a pregnancy is terminated to safeguard the woman’s life or health. (Maltatoday)

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