'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.
How two recent films are changing the conversation around abortion
By Angie Han
May 6, 2020
For Bridget, the heroine of Saint Frances, abortion was never a question.
"I'm for sure getting rid of it," she tells her not-quite-boyfriend, Jace, shutting down his tentative suggestion they discuss their options. To Bridget, the answer is obvious. Indeed, it may be the only obvious answer she encounters over the course of the movie, which sees her stumbling almost by accident into a romance, a nannying gig, and a life-changing bond with her employers over the course of a summer.
In and of itself, Bridget's decision isn't so unusual — about one in four women will have an abortion by age 45, according to the Guttmacher Institute. What is notable, about both Saint Frances and another recent film, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, is how the choice to have an abortion is portrayed.
How a Crop of New Movies Is Changing the Narrative About Abortion
By Suyin Haynes
March 13, 2020
Bridget sits at home on the couch and pops four pills into her mouth, two inside each cheek. “I have to keep them here for 20 minutes,” she says smiling, her cheeks slightly bulging. She’s starting the process of a medical abortion. “Do I look cute?” she asks Jace, who she’s dating casually. “I feel cute.” It’s a low-key moment, and one of several scenes in Saint Frances, a recently released dramedy that treats abortion, and the complexities of motherhood and womanhood more broadly, with compassion and without stigma.
As several U.S. states undergo their own battles over abortion laws in the courts, a number of new independent films are taking a more quotidian, and decidedly human, approach to depicting the procedure and the decisions that lead up to it.
ITALY – Seven doctors on trial for manslaughter in the death in Sicily of Valentina Milluzzo in 2016
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Nov 19, 2019
Seven Italian doctors are on trial for manslaughter, accused of failing to carry out a life-saving abortion as emergency obstetric care in 2016 for Valentina Milluzzo, who began miscarrying when she was 19 weeks pregnant with twins. She died of sepsis, which with prompt and appropriate care, including emergency evacuation of the uterus, can be prevented/treated before it becomes fatal. This cause of death happened to Savita Halapannavar in Ireland four years earlier.
The court has sat twice so far, on 17 and 29 October 2019. The Financial Times reported on 29 October 2019 that the doctors said they could not do an abortion because there was still a fetal heartbeat. If this is true, then they were following Catholic health policy. The Financial Times report says the hospital and staff deny any wrongdoing.
Facebook Took Down A Fact-Check Of An Anti-Abortion Video After Republicans Complained
The fact-check was conducted by three doctors who determined an anti-abortion activist's claim that "abortion is never medically necessary" was false.
Claudia Koerner, BuzzFeed News Reporter
Posted on September 11, 2019
Facebook on Wednesday removed a fact-check conducted by doctors of an anti-abortion activist's video, which falsely claimed abortion was never necessary to save women's lives, after four Republican senators complained.
Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Kevin Cramer, and Mike Braun sent a letter to Facebook on Wednesday, accusing the company of censorship and bias against conservatives. At issue were two videos published by anti-abortion group Live Action and its founder, Lila Rose, which were rated as inaccurate by an independent fact-checking group.
HSE looks to recruit clinical lead for abortion services rollout
Nine months after service introduced part-time two-year position to be filled
Mon, Sep 2, 2019
Paul Cullen Health Editor
The Health Service Executive is seeking to recruit a clinical lead for abortion, nine months after the service was introduced.
The person appointed will be tasked with the rollout of termination of pregnancy services to all 19 maternity units, and nationally in GP surgeries and other community settings.
Throwing out the bathwater with the baby | Mara Clarke
Malta is among the last European countries to have a total abortion ban in all circumstances. MARA CLARKE, founder of Abortion Support Network, argues that banning abortion doesn’t save babies… it just drives poor people to desperation
5 August 2019
by Raphael Vassallo
Your organisation, Abortion Support Network, offers help to women seeking termination services in (among others) countries where abortion is illegal, like Malta. What sort of service do you provide?
First of all, it’s important to note that Abortion Support Network is a non-political organisation, in the sense that… we don’t tell people how to vote. The groups that campaign for legislative change are the ‘cure’… we’re the ‘band-aid’. We receive calls from women who need assistance, and we explain to them what their options really are. Because most of the time, they wouldn’t know. These are not things they can talk about at home, or even with a doctor…
It’s not just America, the abortion of women’s rights is happening globally
Bethan McGinley argues that recent abortion legislation in America is symptomatic of global attack on women’s rights and lives
by Bethan McGinley
Sunday May 26 2019
News of Republican-controlled states passing archaic abortion bills to mount a challenge to the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, has been met with widespread outrage, and rightly so. To ban abortion is undeniably to violate women’s human rights, as well as those of trans men and non-binary people. Not only this, but such bans perpetuate cycles of poverty; they disproportionately impact those who are unable to travel out of state for safe abortions, i.e. poor women and minorities. Considering that both Alabama and Georgia have a minority population of around 30%, it is impossible not to see this as a race and class issue as well as an attack on women’s human rights.
I Am an Abortion Rights Activist. I Hope the Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade.
By ROBIN MARTY
March 20, 2019
On January 22, 1973, the United States Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 that the ability to terminate a pregnancy was a constitutional right. Now, less than five decades later, with a number of lower-court abortion decisions advancing and the most conservative Supreme Court since the 1930s, abortion opponents could be close to getting what they have wanted ever since Roe v. Wade: the decision’s reversal.
I am an abortion rights activist, and frankly, I couldn’t be happier.
Statement on access to safe, quality and legal abortion
January 21, 2019
Peoples Health Movement (PHM)
Following on the fourth People’s Health Assembly (PHA) of the global People’s Health Movement (PHM) concluded in Savar, Bangladesh on 19 November 2019, the PHM reiterates girls’ and women’s rights to health and life, to equality, and sexual and reproductive autonomy. The PHM stands in solidarity with the struggles in countries around the world where the right to abortion is banned, restricted or access to safe and quality abortion care, inaccessible.
As of 2017, 26 countries, including Iraq, Egypt, Philippines, Nicaragua ban abortion altogether, regardless of the consequences to the woman’s health, and even if it is a result of rape or incest; 37 other countries, including Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, Indonesia, UAE, permit abortion only if it is perceived as necessary to save the life of the woman. Thirty six and twenty four countries allow abortion only if it is necessary to protect the woman’s physical and mental health respectively (Singh S et al 2017).