Home Book editor Letters to the Editor – January 1, 2022

Letters to the Editor – January 1, 2022

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1958 Plane crash

I want to thank Malta timetables much for the article that was published on December 27 on the plane crash over Italy on October 22, 1958, written by Mark Laurence Zammit. He captured the drama and tragedy that made world headlines that week and the lasting effects they had on the families of those on board.

Since the publication of The Flight of the Arctic Fox in September, I am happy to say that we have found Sheila Lane’s family in Dorset, England, and finally have a photo of her and solved the mystery of why she was buried in Malta. . We are still looking for the relatives of Mary La Vassallo Rosa, but we know that she was buried in Ħamrun.

We hope to have a gathering of relatives’ families at the site in Italy next year.

Many thanks for this help and to the families of Roderick Chalmers and Michael Vella (son of John Vella). I am very happy to say that the book is now available in all Agenda bookstores in Malta.

RORY O’GRADY – Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom

Not a criminal

John Pace (December 6), in response to my letter reiterating that abortion takes place every day in Malta, asked me if I was “reporting criminal activity”.

As a volunteer with the Family Planning Advisory Service who regularly hears from women in Malta seeking abortions, the answer is no. This is because I do not consider a woman who requests an abortion because she already has young dependent children, a criminal.

Nor do I consider this mother who contacts us on behalf of her 16 year old daughter who has told her that she is pregnant and does not want to be a criminal.

People who think that women who seek abortions or have had abortions should be sentenced to prison terms are either heartless or have no idea of ​​the reality these women face.

If this country truly cares about women, it must decriminalize abortion as soon as possible, especially to disarm the vengeance of those who wish to see these vulnerable women punished.

CHRISTOPHER BARBARA – Doctors for Choice, St Julian’s

Persistent in error

Correspondent Klaus Vella Bardon (22 December) claimed that in previous correspondence Giovanni Bonello had “buried, once and for all … (the) dishonest claim that Maltese law does not protect the mother when she faces to a difficult pregnancy ”.

Assuming that Vella Bardon’s circumlocution refers to therapeutic abortion (another was “life-saving treatment that could lead to the loss of (a woman’s) child”), her claim is patently wrong.

In previous correspondence, Bonello had argued that in addition to the criminal record showing that no prosecution had ever been attempted for therapeutic abortion, the Maltese penal code also provides for therapeutic abortion in terms of article of the code. relating to self-abortion. defense.

In fact, the link between therapeutic abortion and self-defense is weak, if not nonexistent.

In subsequent correspondence, he did not repeat this argument but courteously fell back on the undisputed fact that there has never been a prosecution for a therapeutic abortion case.

The fact remains that, on the basis of the existing terms of the law, therapeutic abortion is not released from any criminal liability.

Two conclusions follow from this: future prosecutions can still be attempted in breach of an old practice; perhaps more importantly, the law as it stands has a chilling effect on healthcare professionals when they have to consider therapeutic abortion, an effect which in the not-so-distant past has had dire consequences in Ireland , among others.

ALFRED SANT, MEP – Brussels, Belgium

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