'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.
Muscat wants national debate on abortion
Not clear how he would seek to involve himself in debate
Jan 12, 2019
Outgoing Prime Minister Joseph Muscat wants to start a national debate on the possible introduction of abortion after he steps down tomorrow.
Addressing Labour Party supporters for the last time as prime minister on Friday, Dr Muscat told a packed sports hall in Corradino that once he steps down from Castille, he planned on pushing for new civil liberties, which until now were considered taboo, but stopped short of being specific on what these may be.
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.