'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.
COVID-19 exposed how women continue to be 'disproportionately affected in society'
Sunday, 31 May 2020
The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted, both locally and on a global scale, how women continue to be disproportionately affected; whether with regard to violence, losing their jobs, or not gaining full accessibility to the contraceptive pill, women’s rights activist and lawyer Lara Dimitrijevic told The Malta Independent on Sunday.
“In the ideal post-COVID-19 reality, authorities need to stop throwing the word equality around. Policymakers need to truly see how women are being affected and ensure that the required change takes place. We need to be practical and listen to one another if we genuinely want to reach equality. Women are suffering and I believe that sexual reproductive rights are an integral part of women’s rights and we need to acknowledge that.”
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.
Abortion Support Network expands service to Malta and Gibraltar (Press Release)
Published on February 14, 2019
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, ASN brings the gift of confidential, non-judgemental information and funding for abortion costs to new countries
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue
Ireland has safe legal abortion
So we’re expanding to help Malta and Gibraltar too!
Abortion Support Network (ASN), a small UK-based charity providing financial assistance, practical information and accommodation to those living in countries with restrictive abortion laws, announced today that it has launched its service to people resident in Malta and Gibraltar. As of today, anyone in those countries will be able to ring the ASN helpline, visit the ASN website or send an email and receive confidential, non-judgmental information about the least expensive way to arrange abortion and travel, clinics that ASN works with in several EU countries, and, where necessary, receive financial help towards the cost of travelling from your home country and paying privately to access a safe, legal abortion.
Currently Malta is the only country in Europe where abortion is completely against the law, whereas the law in Gibraltar allows abortion to save a woman’s life.
Not fully human
Great strides in some areas, but Malta's human rights record remains blotted
Monday, December 10, 2018
by Lara Dimitrijevic
"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home -- so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. [...] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world." -- Eleanor Roosevelt
I start with this quote, because it explains so succinctly what human rights are, or, at least, what they should be – that human rights apply to all, in every corner of the world.
Malta sets stage for abortion debate
By Mario Cacciottolo
19 October 2018
Malta is the only country in the EU where abortion remains illegal, and is still a taboo subject for many. But now, a ground-breaking play featuring local voices from both sides of the debate is trying to change that.
It is estimated that hundreds of women leave Malta each year to have an abortion overseas, usually in the UK or Italy. Others illegally buy abortion pills online.
Womens' Rights Activists Break The Mould And Urge Malta To Legalise Abortion
The Women’s Rights Foundation want access to safe and legal abortion
March 11, 2018
The Women's Rights Foundation has called for access to safe and legal abortion in a press conference in front of Parliament in Valletta. Calling abortion a human right, they demanded a national policy that would give this right to Maltese woman.
They said that abortion should at least be given in the following circumstances: "To save a woman’s life, to preserve a woman’s physical and mental health, in cases of rape and incest and in cases of fatal foetus impairment.”
Women’s Rights Movement Reports Death Threats To Police After Landmark Abortion Proposal
Maltese man warned women's rights activists that 'I have a bullet ready for those killers'
March 11, 2018
The Women’s Rights Foundation has reported a man to the police after he posted a series of death threats on Facebook in the wake of the Foundation’s call for Malta to provide safe and legal abortion.
The man in question had commented under a Times of Malta article that “I have a bullet ready for those killers”. He also got into an argument with a women’s rights activist on MaltaToday’s Facebook page, posting threatening comments such as “people that play with fire get burnt!! And I am ready to burn” and “I THREATEN CHILD KILLERS AND ITS NOT A THREAT ITS A PROMISE”.