Choice in Healthcare
I refer to ‘There’s no fundamental human right to abortion’ (Times of Malta, December 19) to explain that access to abortion is regarded as a human right by major international organisations such as the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the World Health Organisation, the United Nations, the Council of Europe and Amnesty International.
Abortion is not a black and white issue. The views expressed by many Times of Malta correspondents rely on their personal moral beliefs, which are, in turn, influenced by societal norms.
In my view, self-perceived moral superiority has no place in a healthy society because when it comes to the very personal subject that is abortion there is no reliable universal measure of what is morally good or bad.
Who is to say that one’s moral views on abortion are definitely right and those of others are absolutely wrong? Historically, even Catholic theologians’ views have been pluralistic and did not ignore the moral complexities of this issue (with some prominent Catholics who were venerated as saints having argued that abortion is permissible in certain circumstances).
Forcing someone to give birth against their will by removing from that person the possibility of being true to their moral beliefs in their own lives seems totally incongruous to me.
Being pro-choice is about respect for the moral values of others and that is why, as a Doctor for Choice, I advocate for a person’s choice in healthcare to be respected by all doctors in all circumstances, whether this be surgery or chemotherapy or a blood transfusion or an abortion.
By Dr Gilbert Gravino
Originally published as a letter to the editor at the Times of Malta - January 11, 2021: https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/letters-to-the-editor-january-11-2021.844119