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.
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.