Malta – ‘Referendum must decide abortion issue’ – new president

Myriam Spiteri Debono will not say whether she would sign an abortion bill

April 7, 2024
Mark Laurence Zammit

A referendum would be the fairest way to decide the contentious issue of abortion, according to Malta’s new president. Myriam Spiteri Debono said she is personally against abortion but would not say whether she would sign an abortion law if it were to land on her desk.

In her first interview with Times of Malta, the 71-year-old president said: “I’m personally against abortion but I won’t speculate further. But let’s not be delusional about this – just like it was introduced in other countries, it will eventually be introduced [here as well]. I speak with many young people, and I’m astonished at how some of them – a few of whom even frequent church – come to believe that abortion is acceptable in certain circumstances.”


Labour MEP makes plea for abortion to become fundamental right in EU Charter

Cyrus Engerer calls for the introduction of abortion to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union in Brussels debate that follows French constitutional enshrinement

14 March 2024
by Matthew Vella

Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer billed himself the first Maltese in Brussels to have spoken in favour of women’s full bodily autonomy, in an impassioned intervention to a debate calling for abortion to become a fundamental right in the European Charter of fundamental rights.

Engerer, who has not yet committed himself to a re-election campaign for the 2024 elections, quoted various experiences of anonymous women who had to carry out illegal abortions in Malta due to domestic violence, rape, or illness.


Why is abortion still illegal in Malta in 2024?

14. FEB 2024

On Wednesday (14 February) around 70 brave abortion activists from Malta will gather in Brussels. Their mission? Demanding that the right to their own bodies be respected. This bold move shines a light on a crucial issue that needs immediate attention — we must make sure that the right to abortion becomes part of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Because while the European Union often takes pride in championing gender equality around the world, such as promoting global policies to end female genital mutilation, increase educational opportunities for girls, and eradicate female poverty, yet within a country in our own territory, women are suffering under misogynist laws.


Malta – Forty, pregnant, and seeking an abortion

A trend is emerging in Malta among women aged 40 and over, who already have children and who experience unintended pregnancies despite using contraception. The Journal catches up with Doctors for Choice - Malta’s Dr Natalie Psaila.

The Journal
Jan 16, 2024

If you think that unwanted pregnancies are exclusive to teenagers, think again.
“An emerging trend that we’re observing is among individuals aged 40 and over, who already have children, who say that they have used contraception, but still experience unintended pregnancies,” reveals Dr Natalie Psaila, a Maltese doctor who make it to the BBC’s top 100 inspirational women in 2023. 

These women confirm using CE certified condoms but, despite these precautions, they still get pregnant, she pointed out. “These condoms shouldn’t fail easily but no contraceptive is fail-proof. This is why these couples are getting pregnant. Condoms have about 10% failure rate. Something like the pull-out method – a favourite with the Maltese – has a 40% failure rate.”


Malta – Woman fined €58 for assaulting Doctors for Choice activist

Jennifer Grech said that pro-choice messages ‘hurt her feelings’

January 2, 2024
Edwina Brincat

A woman, found guilty of assaulting a pro-choice doctor during a peaceful roadside protest, later saying that the message on the activist’s placard “hurt” her feelings, was fined €58.

Judgment was delivered on the incident which took place on May 9, 2022, when Isabelle Stabile, a gynaecologist and member of Doctors for Choice, was assaulted by Jennifer Grech during a protest on Aldo Moro Street, Marsa.


Malta – We aid and abet abortion

People call the free Abortion Doula Service because they know they will receive abortion advice according to best practice

Christopher Barbara, Natalie Psaila and Isabel Stabile
Nov 20, 2023

We refer to ‘Inciting murder of the unborn” (October 6) in which senior colleagues call for the police to investigate us for providing information and support to those persons in Malta who seek an abortion. This is preposterous.

We have absolutely no qualms letting people know exactly how to order pills online, how to take them and what complications are possible as well as the precautions they need to take to avoid them.  We do this because we are medical professionals and are obliged to provide every support possible to any person that needs our help.


Malta – Abortion change that preserved the status quo

In stark contrast, the Diluted Amendment limits the scope of who may access the necessary treatment, since it requires that the life or health of the patient must be ‘in grave jeopardy which may lead to death’

Neil Muscat
14 October 2023

In the past months, Malta has witnessed the diluted version of Bill 28 (the ‘Diluted Amendment’) (Act XXII of 2023) signed into law by the President.

Prime Minister Robert Abela had touted the former Criminal Code amendment (the ‘Original Amendment’) as a way to protect women's lives and health, saying these principles were ‘non-negotiable'.


Malta – ‘Pro-mother, pro-choice’ crowds gather in Valletta in support of abortion

Two Labour MPs lend their support as protesters gather in front of courts

September 30, 2023
Daniel Ellul

Pro-choice activists gathered in Valletta on Saturday, calling for the decriminalisation of abortion and the provision of abortion services in the healthcare system.

Holding banners reading 'pro-mother, pro-choice', the protesters chanted slogans such "not the church, not the state... women will decide their fate".

The manifestation comes two months after Malta changed its abortion laws for the first time, allowing doctors to terminate a pregnancy if a woman's life is at immediate risk or her health is in "grave jeopardy which may lead to her death".


Malta – ‘A historic mess’: Labour’s liberal wing unhappy with watered-down abortion bill

Labour insiders say abortion bill was badly handled 'from beginning to end'

July 2, 2023
Daniel Ellul, Mark Laurence Zammit

Several Labour MPs have expressed concern after the government backed down and amended the so-called 'abortion bill' even though they voted in its favour on Wednesday.

Bill 28 was unanimously approved in parliament, with no one calling a division (individual counting of votes).

The prime minister described the vote as a 'historic day', but several MPs in Labour's liberal wing are far less excited.


Maltese lawmakers vote to legalize abortion, but only where the mother is at risk of death


June 28, 2023

VALLETTA, Malta — Maltese lawmakers on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation to ease the strictest abortion laws in the European Union, but pro-choice campaigners had withdrawn their support, saying last-minute changes make the legislation “vague, unworkable and even dangerous.”

The original bill allowing women access to abortion if a pregnant woman’s life or health is in danger was hailed as a step in the right direction for Malta, an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic nation. It was introduced last fall after an American tourist who miscarried had to be airlifted off the Mediterranean island nation to be treated.