Covid: Locked-down women turn to pills amid Malta abortion ban

Catholic Malta has the strictest ban on abortion in the EU, but during the pandemic more Maltese women have been ordering abortion pills from abroad, unable to travel because of the lockdown.

By Sophia Smith-Galer, BBC World Service
January 8, 2021

Veronica - not her real name - was among them. "It was a big burden for me. I already have two kids with learning difficulties. I came off the pill, as the doctor suggested I switch to an IUD for health reasons. I was waiting for the appointment, but Covid came and cancelled all the hospital appointments."

Not long after that Veronica got pregnant. "I had to decide what is best for me and the children," she says. "The best for my health, the best financially… plus the father immediately told me to abort."


Pro-choice doctors call on ‘anti-abortion propaganda film’ to stop being shown in schools

Doctors for Choice argue that the film The Silent Scream is riddled with 'medical, scientific, and legal untruths'

9 November 2020
by Laura Calleja

Doctors for Choice have called for The Silent Scream, which they describe as an “anti-abortion propaganda film”, to stop being shown in schools.

The film was produced in the mid-1980s and is often shown in Maltese schools.

The NGO said the film continued to be used by pro-life groups to “dramatize abortion and portray it as an inhumane procedure that should be banned.”


Malta – Abortion laws fit for purpose?

July 20, 2020
Isabel Stabile

It is widely, although falsely, assumed that there is only one possible true moral belief system and that, therefore, those who do not espouse those views must be acting immorally.

If this were the case, any form of moral argument would be superfluous.


‘Like Ireland on steroids’: Malta’s abortion taboo leaves women in despair

'Like Ireland on steroids': Malta's abortion taboo leaves women in despair
Border closures have trapped women seeking safe terminations and exposed the plight of those who cannot afford to travel

Megan Clement and Bertrand Borg in Valetta
Thu 11 Jun 2020

The nurse who told Marija she was still pregnant thought she was giving her patient good news. She chided Marija, who was seven weeks along, for not starting her vitamins sooner and sent her home.

But Marija (not her real name) was devastated. Six days earlier, she had tried to terminate the pregnancy with abortion pills she ordered online. But she had experienced terrible morning sickness throughout her pregnancy, and had thrown up after taking the first of the two pills. She was worried the medication had not had time to work before she vomited. After taking the second pill and bleeding for a few days, she went to the hospital to find out if she had miscarried.


Malta looks to Ireland in campaign for legal abortion

Malta looks to Ireland in campaign for legal abortion

Monday, 25 May 2020
By Ailbhe Conneely, Social Affairs & Religion Correspondent

The second anniversary of the referendum on the 8th amendment has arrived, and has barely made a dent in the news coverage due to Covid-19.

Arguably, the appetite for the story is no longer there, but it is a topic that will never be far from the headlines.

Legislation underpinning the current service will be reviewed next year, for example.


Malta – Abortion is a woman’s right

Abortion is a woman’s right

Apr 20, 2020
Christopher Barbara, Gilbert Gravino, Jamie Grech, Elena Saliba, Isabel Stabile|

In his opinion piece entitled ‘Charity Saves Lives’, (Times of Malta, April 13) Klaus Vella Bardon wrote “Doctors for Choice feel that, instead of offering support to these women... we should offer them the choice of abortion.”

Yes, women in Malta deserve the same right to determine their futures and decide when to become mothers, as do women in the vast majority of countries worldwide where abortion is legal. Our message is clear: abortion rights are women’s rights. This should be part of the support that’s offered to women.


British provider to post abortion pills to ensure Northern Irish women have access during pandemic

British provider to post abortion pills to ensure Northern Irish women have access during pandemic
It said that under Northern Irish law it was only legally permitted to provide abortion for the purpose of preventing grave, permanent injury to the woman's physical or mental health

Amanda Ferguson, Reuters
April 9, 2020

BELFAST — Britain’s leading provider of abortions said it will offer abortion pills to women in Northern Ireland by post to avoid them having to travel to England by ferry now that the coronavirus pandemic has closed air traffic.

Although abortion was decriminalized in Northern Ireland last year, it remains unavailable in the British region after the local health ministry missed an April 1 deadline to begin providing terminations.


Spike in Maltese women seeking abortion help amid flight ban – UK charity

Spike in Maltese women seeking abortion help amid flight ban - UK charity
Maltese women are calling the UK for advice on terminating pregnancies

April 1, 2020
Kristina Abela

A UK-based charity offering support to those living in countries with restrictive abortion laws has seen an increase in calls from Maltese women unable to travel to have an abortion.

Last week Abortion Support Network received eight calls from Malta – the same number it usually deals with in one month, founder Mara Klein Clarke said.

Most of the women who called were seeking advice on how to terminate their pregnancies with the travel ban meaning they can not fly to the UK, Klein Clarke told Times of Malta.


Abortion provision thrown into doubt by coronavirus pandemic

Abortion provision thrown into doubt by coronavirus pandemic

By Laura Smith-Spark, Valentina Di Donato and Stephanie Halasz, CNN
March 27, 2020

London (CNN)As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, women's access to abortion is one of many healthcare provisions thrown into jeopardy.

The UK government caused confusion this week when it first announced that women would temporarily be allowed to access early medical abortion at home, rather than attending a clinic -- and then, hours later, reversed its decision.


Ireland – Renewed call for safe access zones for abortion services

Renewed call for safe access zones for abortion services

Monday, 6 Jan 2020
By Ailbhe Conneely

The Abortion Rights Alliance has used Nollaig na mBan to issue a statement calling for safe and accessible abortion provision. In a statement, spokesperson Charlene Delaney said "many continue to be left behind by the failings in our legislation".

She has accused the Government of failing to deliver or introduce legislation on safe access zones, which it has promised on countless occasions.