ADPD calls for mental health to be a priority and for abortion to be decriminalized

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ADPD – The Green Party has called for prioritizing mental health with increased investment and decriminalizing abortion in Malta.

Doctor Anthony Buttigieg, ADPD candidate for the 1st and 10th districts, called for prioritizing mental health with increased investment for better service within the community.

Buttigieg said a mental health pandemic was unfolding throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with an exponential rise in mental health issues that showed the current service was unable to respond.

Mental health is often treated as the Cinderella of health services. More emphasis and resources are needed for mental health. Additionally, there is an urgent need for Monte Carmeli to be replaced with a new hospital with modern facilities for acute mental health cases that treat patients with dignity,” Buttigieg said.

“More help should be given to the Richmond Foundation and other NGOs who provide a valuable service for better mental health in the community. Protected houses should be installed in every town and village. The community in which an individual would have grown up will remain most supportive, regardless of their problems.

ADPD President and candidate for the 4th and 9th districts, Carmel Cacopardo, said the party’s proposals on sexual and reproductive health are two-fold: “First, there must be decriminalization: no woman who undertakes Abortion – for whatever reason – should only be treated as a criminal. A woman having an abortion needs our support. It is imperative that society show empathy, not persecution.

Empathy alone is not enough, however, Cacopardo said. “It must translate into concrete actions: hence our proposal to decriminalize abortion for all women who make such a choice. Removing from the Penal Code the threat of state criminal action, even though it has rarely been used, would signal, even on its own, our society’s desire to help all those women who encounter difficulties during their pregnancy.

Cacopardo also said it was unclear what medical interventions were allowed for pregnancy complications. “The law is not clear at all. The DPA proposes that this be resolved through clear amendments so that it is clear as to what medical interventions are permitted if complications developing during pregnancy threaten a woman’s life.

Although it is not known that a woman died in Malta from complications during pregnancy, Cacopardo said there had been a number of “close cases”.

The only publicly documented case refers to a Canadian of Maltese origin who, following a refusal to intervene at Mater Dei in 2019, supported by her insurance, had to be evacuated to a clinic in Paris with an air ambulance. “It is simply unacceptable that, in a supposedly civilized country, women are brought to death’s door,” Cacopardo said.

“It is becoming increasingly urgent to put more emphasis on sexual and reproductive health education at all levels of our education system. This should lead to instilling a greater sense of responsibility in each and everyone.

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