In light of current affairs, and my own personal ongoing debates I wonder-Why are we (as a population) so desperate to be economically and technologically advanced but remain stuck in the primitive era when it comes to morality?
Unfortunately, many avant-garde strategies such as the morning after pill, euthanasia and abortion (my own stance is pro-choice) have a stark and resilient label in our country. Why is the mere possibility of these things being a safe and accessible options considered to be so taboo and is boycotted? Several factors come to mind in answering this question such as the Church and more directly Malta’s deeply rooted Christian beliefs which most (older generations as well as a handful of the younger generation) have held to the point of ignorance. Now I am aware that I may be generalising here, but to be frank, once you take on a religion you are gradually losing your own voice and letting the Church dictate what your opinion is or is not.
I acknowledge that we have made progress with the Morning After Pill issue, after the numerous eff rots of campaigner pointing out the obvious, and the 14th of December 2016 is acknowledged as a major milestone. However, only a few days ago, a local private hospital stated that it “refuses” to stock the pill on the grounds that it could have abortive effects. Of course, as a private entity the hospital has the choice to stock or not (please note the irony here). I would not delve too far into the issue because the pill is now accessible after all… but honestly, when you think about the efforts which were put in to even raising awareness towards the advantages of this pill, instead of the reckless, unfounded name calling of those who utter a word in favour. But anyway, that’s one in the bag.
The connotations which are associated with the concept of euthanasia are those of cold blooded murder. No. I believe that ‘mercy killing’ is the best term for this procedure as it allows the individual to be released from their discomfort and agony, afterall what is the point of existing without living? One should also consider the possibility of someone who willfully requests the euthanasia on oneself, as a way of a dignified passing away. European countries such as Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg decriminalised Euthanasia and with some terms and conditions allowed active and passive euthanasia. Some of these condition’s included the approval of at least two doctors and the exclusion of children. France also took a step forward of allowing terminally ill patients to be sedated until natural death occurs. The Church teaches us that taking our own life is forbidden as life is sacred and only God can terminate life. To some this may sound outrageous and to some it is the moral law they follow… morality is another issue. Is it moral to helplessly watch your loved one fade away? If the gift of life is indeed a gift, shouldn’t it be your personal choice to do with it what you will?
Moving on to perhaps the biggest faux pas, on an international level really, is the issue of abortion. Now, personally, as a female, I have maternal instincts which make me ogle at the sight of babies, that being said I would be crushed if I had to take on that burden at age 18. Regardless of this ever-possible dilemma which any sexually active female could face, she must lump it and go through 9 months of physical, mental and social plights. Until just last month girls had no solution to such a crises- because no a baby at a young and vulnerable age is not a miracle, but a difficulty and while I applaud and admire those who go through with such an ordeal, most people are not that strong. I would also like to acknowledge the fact that the male part of this equation is also faced with a plethora of anxiety provoking issues. Why does a young couple have to give up their time to grow and learn as individuals because of a mistake which could arise regardless if all precautions are taken. I am not in anyway set out to blame or criticism anyone who does, but I really think that someone should stress the fact that humans all different, with different goals and different levels of coping and maturity. For this reason alone abortion should be considered as an option (at least). Some are so desperate to abort a baby but have no means to that they risk their health or have to sacrifice their adolescence. Therefore I ask- what’s so wrong with the choice?
At this point in time I would also acknowledge the fact that while not everyone is capable of going through with a pregnancy for psychological reasons, some may choose to opt for this procedure as if it were a tooth filling. Same issue goes for the morning after pill. Well yes, many teens and people in general are ignorant and are either not aware of the real meaning of what having an abortion means or simply do not care. This careless mentality is repulsive but a variable nonetheless. Why do we protect the uneducated for the sake of those who are?
To conclude, I would just like to say this. What is truly at risk if we allow these taboos to become norms or at least exceptions? Your pride (or perhaps your party’s)? You spirituality? Or is it just your conscience nagging at you? Who are we as individuals to dictate what our neighbour does with their life?