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Prof Isabel Stabile: Abortion Rights

This article was published in MaltaToday on 28 June 2020


In his contribution (21 June), Anthony Mifsud from the Malta Unborn Child Movement unfortunately mixes apples and oranges, so to speak. Non-voluntary euthanasia (the act of ending life with­out the explicit consent of the individ­ual) cannot be equated with abortion, because a wounded soldier, or any other human being for that matter, is already a “being” i.e. a person.


Starting from the premise that all hu­man beings are automatically persons, philosophers have long debated what characteristics impart personhood and when this state of personhood begins. I respect the views of those who, based on the teachings of the Church, believe that ensoulment makes one a person.


However, I trust that all those who espouse this faith can also reason. An unconscious person is still sentient - i.e., able to perceive - whereas there