Rebecca Gomperts, the Dutch foundress and director of the organization Women on Waves, visited Malta this week to promote abortion. The mostly Catholic population denounced her presence, and the public events she was supposed to lead ended up taking place behind closed doors.
Women on Waves operates the so-called “Abortion Ship,” which takes women from countries where abortion is illegal into international waters to perform the procedure. According to Lifesitenews.com, Gomperts visited the Maltese capital “to deliver a lecture titled, ‘The Right to a Dignified Motherhood: The Crucial Abortion Issue.’ A Maltese correspondent with LifeSiteNews.com said that the visit was met with ‘an overwhelming opposing reception’.”
As the strongly pro-life Maltese protesters, organized by the Gift of Life Foundation, stood in a silent candle-light vigil outside, Gomperts spoke to invitation-only media at the Castille Hotel in Valetta last Wednesday. She told the media that her particular aim was promoting the RU-486 “abortion tablets” that she claimed are safer than giving birth.
“Many women do not know of the existence of medical [chemical] abortion and that's one of my goals in Malta, to make them aware that if they can obtain the medicine they can do it safely themselves in the first nine weeks,” she said. Gomperts claimed that “a small number” of Maltese women had contacted her privately to arrange abortions on her ship.
Gomperts, who has two children, dismissed the existence of post-abortion syndrome, and told the press that being a mother has only strengthened her support for abortion. Employing a long used abortion slogan familiar to pro-life advocates around the world, she said, “Every child has a right to be a wanted child.”
Asked if she had ever had an abortion herself, the 41 year-old Dr. Gomperts’ hesitation surprised Times of Maltese reporter Ariadne Massa who called the response “unexpectedly punctuated by moments of silence”.
“I don't think that... erm... The erm... The reason why I hesitate to answer this question is because by making it... erm... I think I am a woman like all the others,” she said. “Like I said, 46 million women have an abortion each year, so I don't think that my personal experience in that matter makes a difference.”
Gomperts’ visit was organized by Dr. Emmy Bezzina, Malta’s most prominent abortion activist whose fringe political party, the Alpha Liberal Party, promotes abortion and divorce, positions strongly opposed by a majority of Maltese who remain strongly faithful to their Catholic religious heritage in the face of secularizing pressure.