Member states should help women in EU countries who do not allow abortion by providing them safe access to the service, MEPs urge in recent parliamentary resolution.
This report was drafted according to the situation in Poland. However, it applies perfectly to Malta and has the potential to help thousands of women and trans men living on the island.
Therefore if implemented, other EU countries that have fewer abortion restrictive rules should actively help Maltese people access this healthcare through advice and financial aid.
“We will continue to help everyone we can access the abortion they need, whether through pills at home or by supporting them to travel to another European country if they need to,” member of Abortion Without Borders Mara Clarke said.
This organisation has helped over 34,000 women from Poland access an abortion over the past year.
Meanwhile, this number only represents a fraction of the total number of Polish women needing support.
Abortion Without Borders is a part of the Abortion Support Network which is available in Malta providing advice and financial assistance for those who need it.
In addition to this, MEPs are demanding for the strong condemnation of Poland’s illegitimate Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling of 22 October 2020 imposing a near-total ban on abortion and putting women’s health and lives at risk, essentially making Polish abortion laws the exact same as those of Malta.
Such restrictive regulations result in women having to seek unsafe abortions, travel abroad to obtain abortions or carry their pregnancy to term against their will even in cases of fatal foetal impairments, members of parliament explained.
This means that if a foetus shows that it will most likely die outside of the womb, it will still be forced to be birthed. Resulting in unnecessary life-changing trauma.
Just to fully illustrate the dangerous implications of the abortion ban that Malta and Poland share, just two months ago, a 30-year-old Polish woman died of septic shock because her doctors did not perform a life-saving abortion, waiting instead for the foetus to die because of the restrictions on legal abortions.
Thus, MEPs are urging the Polish government to swiftly and fully guarantee access to safe, legal and free abortion services for all women and womb bearers.
And since this will most likely not be done anytime soon, neither in Poland nor in Malta – they are urging for other member states to step up and help vulnerable women and womb bearers to access the healthcare that, under EU values, they are entitled to.
This report, which received 373 votes in favour, 124 against and 55 abstentions, comes timely with Opposition Leader Bernard Grech’s recent interview proclaiming that the PN (and anyone apart of it) will never be in favour of abortion.
As always, Malta’s abortion laws are contradicted by a primitive sexual health policy that includes terrible sexual health education and product accessibility, meaning that the island’s government has banned abortion but has not done anything to curb the need for it.
On a more positive note, the implementation of this report has the ability to revert the class issue that arises when only people that can afford to travel for an abortion can actually receive this healthcare.
This way, everyone’s health and safety will be accounted for, as it always should have been.
This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Do you think that member states should help people access abortion?