A British abortion rights charity has expanded to Malta, as well as Gibraltar, to help women travel to access safe, legal abortions, in a move that has been welcomed by a leading local women’s rights movement.
The Abortion Support Network said it will offer women in Malta advice on the cheapest and safest way to access an abortion and, where necessary, even provide financial help towards travelling costs.
It will also provide funding for people in Malta and Gibraltar who want a telephone consultation or counselling session with leading British aborition provider, British Pregnancy Advisory Service.
“We have been providing our services to Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man for almost 10 years and have an excellent network of donors, volunteers and supporters who believe that ‘I can’t afford an abortion’ should never be the only reason someone becomes a parent,” ASN founder Mara Clarke said. “Outlawing abortion never stopped abortion but made it inconvenient for those without financial and other support, and catastrophic for the marginalised, at risk, or poor.”
“It means that when faced with an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, women with money have options and women without money have babies – or do desperate or dangerous things to try and self-abort.”
ASN urged Malta, where abortion is completely outlawed, and Gibraltar, where abortion is only allowed if a woman’s life is at risk, to change their laws to allow women to have safe, legal abortions at home.
The Women’s Rights Foundation, which has called for the legalisation of abortion in Malta, welcomed this move
“These services will alleviate to a great extent the discriminatory and cruel situation women in Malta are forced to live in,” WRD director Lara Dimitrijevic said. “By abrogating itself from its duties and responsibilities, the state forces women to find their own way to acquire health and support they need.”
“The Women’s Rights Foundation will do everything in its power to help and assist women in Malta in accessing the service and support provided by ASN.”
Cover photos: Abortion Support Network