The Last Places in Europe Where It’s Illegal to Get an Abortion
European microstates are some of the richest countries on the continent, but human rights, including abortion, are curtailed.
by Sarah Souli; illustrated by Cathryn Virginia
Aug 19 2019
Lara hadn’t wanted to see the baby.
It wasn’t supposed to be hers, anyway; when she accidentally got pregnant at 18, she had decided the child would be raised by her aunt while she went off to university. The first few months of the pregnancy were normal: doctor’s visits, ultrasounds, the abrupt abandonment of cigarettes and beer. Then, around five months into her gestation, the pain and bleeding started. At the emergency room, a surprising diagnostic—fatally missed by her primary gynecologist—was announced. The baby was lacking two nerve bundles in its neck. A few days later, a second test with Lara’s gynecologist revealed a diagnosis of Down syndrome. The baby, doctors briskly explained to Lara, would be born “a vegetable.”
Throwing out the bathwater with the baby | Mara Clarke
Malta is among the last European countries to have a total abortion ban in all circumstances. MARA CLARKE, founder of Abortion Support Network, argues that banning abortion doesn’t save babies… it just drives poor people to desperation
5 August 2019
by Raphael Vassallo
Your organisation, Abortion Support Network, offers help to women seeking termination services in (among others) countries where abortion is illegal, like Malta. What sort of service do you provide?
First of all, it’s important to note that Abortion Support Network is a non-political organisation, in the sense that… we don’t tell people how to vote. The groups that campaign for legislative change are the ‘cure’… we’re the ‘band-aid’. We receive calls from women who need assistance, and we explain to them what their options really are. Because most of the time, they wouldn’t know. These are not things they can talk about at home, or even with a doctor…
The last taboo: Malta is the last EU country to have a full ban on abortion
Pro-choice activists will struggle to overturn it
Jul 27th 2019
POPE PIUS XI, who died in 1939, described Malta as “Malta Cattolicissima”. Today, that is not quite as true as it once was. The first schism with Catholic doctrine came in 2011, when divorce was legalised after a bitterly fought referendum. For the past four years, Malta has retained its top spot in ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Index, a ranking of policy towards LGBT people in 49 European countries. Same-sex couples now have equal marriage and adoption rights.
Yet Malta remains the only European Union member state which bans abortion in all circumstances. Under a law dating to 1724, women who procure an abortion in Malta risk being imprisoned for up to three years. The second-most-stringent EU country, Poland, allows abortion in very limited circumstances (as does Northern Ireland, which is even stricter, though a law passed in Westminster earlier this month could change that).
Abortion debate goes mainstream in Malta
Opposition conservatives have labeled the European election a ‘referendum on abortion.’
By Jillian Deutsch
MSIDA, Malta — The controversial debate on Malta's stringent abortion laws has shifted from Facebook forums to the highest levels of politics just in time for the European election.
In the weeks leading up to Saturday’s ballot, the opposition Nationalist Party took out billboard adverts across the island championing the party’s anti-abortion message. Its leader Adrian Delia called the European election a “referendum on abortion” — accusing the ruling Labour Party of secretly supporting greater abortion rights.
On Abortion in the Context of Malta: a Medical Doctor’s Perspective
April 3, 2019
Illustrations by the author
It is extremely important to differentiate between being anti-abortion at an individual level and being anti-legalising-abortion (anti-choice), a distinction that is often overlooked. It is perfectly reasonable and respectable for individuals who would never have an abortion themselves to be pro-choice.
At the heart of every debate on abortion are its scientific, moral, social, psychological and medical aspects. They all play a crucial role in formulating an opinion and taking a stance on the issue.
Times Are Changing: Malta’s First Ever Pro-Choice Movement To Launch This Weekend
'Women seeking abortions continue to live in fear, stigma and shame in our society'
Mar 4, 2019
It would have been unthinkable in the past, but Malta’s first ever pro-choice movement is set to launch this weekend to campaign for the legalisation of abortion.
Details are still scant at this stage, but the movement is expected to include the Women’s Rights Foundation and Moviment Graffitti, both of whom have been sharing the upcoming launch on social media.
Abortion Support Network expands service to Malta and Gibraltar (Press Release)
Published on February 14, 2019
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, ASN brings the gift of confidential, non-judgemental information and funding for abortion costs to new countries
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue
Ireland has safe legal abortion
So we’re expanding to help Malta and Gibraltar too!
Abortion Support Network (ASN), a small UK-based charity providing financial assistance, practical information and accommodation to those living in countries with restrictive abortion laws, announced today that it has launched its service to people resident in Malta and Gibraltar. As of today, anyone in those countries will be able to ring the ASN helpline, visit the ASN website or send an email and receive confidential, non-judgmental information about the least expensive way to arrange abortion and travel, clinics that ASN works with in several EU countries, and, where necessary, receive financial help towards the cost of travelling from your home country and paying privately to access a safe, legal abortion.
Currently Malta is the only country in Europe where abortion is completely against the law, whereas the law in Gibraltar allows abortion to save a woman’s life.
Not fully human
Great strides in some areas, but Malta's human rights record remains blotted
Monday, December 10, 2018
by Lara Dimitrijevic
"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home -- so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. [...] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world." -- Eleanor Roosevelt
I start with this quote, because it explains so succinctly what human rights are, or, at least, what they should be – that human rights apply to all, in every corner of the world.
New play in Malta challenges EU's strictest abortion law
By Guy Davies
Oct 19, 2018
A new play has sparked controversy in Malta by daring to tackle one of the nation's oldest taboos: abortion.
"De-terminated: The Abortion Diaries," written and directed by the journalist Herman Grech, has sparked debate in a country with one of the world's strictest abortion policies.
Malta sets stage for abortion debate
By Mario Cacciottolo
19 October 2018
Malta is the only country in the EU where abortion remains illegal, and is still a taboo subject for many. But now, a ground-breaking play featuring local voices from both sides of the debate is trying to change that.
It is estimated that hundreds of women leave Malta each year to have an abortion overseas, usually in the UK or Italy. Others illegally buy abortion pills online.