Europe – The abortion travel agents: ‘Some women know what they need, others just say: help’

With reproductive rights being increasingly restricted in Europe, people are relying on a network of volunteers to help them

Introduction Margaret Atwood
Interviews Candice Pires
Sat 19 Feb 2022

When The Handmaid’s Tale first came out in 1985, the initial response was broadly that people thought such threats to women’s bodies and reproductive rights “couldn’t happen here”. By the time it aired as a TV series in 2017, just after Donald Trump was inaugurated in the US, people were no longer so sure. With every headline about gains in reproductive rights – Ireland repealing the eighth amendment in 2018, which had effectively banned abortions – there are others that underscore how fragile these rights are, wherever you live.


Malta – Letter to the editor – Health at risk

January 19, 2022
Christopher Barbara, obo Doctors for Choice – St Julian’s

John Pace (January 11) called me “malicious” and a “bad loser” for asking for the decriminalisation of abortion in Malta. Such insults do not deserve a reply but I will address his false claim that Malta’s abortion law is a “successful deterrent”.

It is not. Because in the age where everyone has access to the internet, or knows someone who has, it only takes a few seconds of online searching to learn that abortion pills can be purchased and delivered to Malta and can successfully end an early pregnancy at home. Before abortion pills could be delivered through online telemedicine, women in Malta used to be regularly referred to legal or not-so-legal clinics abroad.


EU parliament elects anti-abortion Maltese MEP as president

Roberta Metsola is first woman to lead assembly in 20 years

Jennifer Rankin in Brussels
Tue 18 Jan 2022

A conservative Maltese lawyer who opposes abortion has been elected president of the European parliament, the first woman in 20 years to lead the assembly.

Roberta Metsola, who is celebrating her 43rd birthday on Tuesday, is the youngest-ever president of the European parliament, winning a comfortable majority to serve a two-and-a-half-year term.


Rights watchdog faults Malta for abortion, journalist safety

by: KEVIN SCHEMBRI ORLAND, Associated Press
Posted: Oct 18, 2021

VALLETTA, Malta (AP) — A European human rights watchdog recommended on Monday that Malta legalize abortion, improve gender equality and implement reforms to protect journalists, adding another international voice of criticism to the laws and culture on the Mediterranean island nation.

The Council of Europe’s rights commissioner, Dunja Mijatović, made an initial set of recommendations following her recent visit to Malta, during which she met with the prime minister, other ministers and civil society groups. A final report is expected later.


Amnesty International Calls Out Malta’s ‘Dangerous’ And ‘Draconian’ Abortion Ban

By Belle de Jong
October 4, 2021

Europe has been at the forefront of the global trend towards the liberalisation of abortion laws for more than 60 years – but Malta is lagging centuries behind.

Human rights NGO Amnesty International published an article on abortion laws across Europe, and, as the only EU member state with a total ban on abortion, Malta is extensively featured in it.


Change is inevitable: people demand the human right to access safe abortion across Europe

Amnesty International
September 28, 2021

Europe has been at the forefront of the global trend towards the liberalization of abortion laws for more than 60 years. But there is still work to do to give all women and people who can become pregnant access to safe and legal abortion.

Almost all EU member states have now legalized abortion on request or on broad socio-economic grounds and, in the last few years, several European countries have enacted important progressive reforms or taken steps to remove harmful procedural and regulatory barriers that can impede access to abortion.


Malta – Zammit Marmarà calls on Labour to take stand on abortion

By Jurgen Balzan
August 15, 2021

Calling on the Labour Party to take a clear stand on abortion, Desmond Zammit Marmarà warned the party to ward off the temptation to play the populist card.

While making his anti-abortion stance clear,
Zammit Marmarà said “I expect parties to have a clear position.”


I was a walking grave: women describe impact of Malta’s abortion ban

Healthcare professionals feel helpless, unable to provide adequate care

Aug 9, 2021
Sarah Carabott

Maria* spent the last months of her pregnancy knowing the foetus she carried inside of her had an inverted heart and a hernia that had spread to its stomach.

Her obstetrician had told her the body would probably self-abort and there was nothing they could do in the meantime.


Abortion Counselling services to be launched in Malta

July 10, 2021
Women on Web

On June 23th, the European Parliament voted in favour of the Matic Report, and in doing so passed a resolution which calls on EU countries to ensure women are offered high quality, comprehensive and accessible sexual and reproductive health and rights, and to remove all barriers impeding them from using these services. Malta consistently falls short of these standards, with national policies needing urgent review and updating to comply to this resolution.

On Sunday July 11th at 9am, members of Doctors for Choice Malta will announce means of accessing the services supported by the Matic Report, and demonstrate counselling as an example of good clinical practice


Why it is vital to decriminalise abortion: the case of Malta

July 2, 2021
By Claire Pierson, University of Liverpool
Liza Caruana-Finkel, University of Liverpool and The Conversation

If accessing abortion in countries where it’s
criminalised wasn’t hard enough before the pandemic, lockdowns and COVID-19
travel restrictions have made the process that much more difficult.

In fact, the issue became so pronounced at the start of the pandemic that the
European parliament and the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights
called on member states to guarantee safe and timely access to abortion.