A popular feminist Tiktok page has name-dropped Malta in one of their videos…but it’s not for a moment of praise.
the.sisofficial, which has over 300,000 followers and is run by two young feminist legal philosopher researchers, posted a TikTok entitled “five sexist laws you won’t believe exist”.
That’s where Malta, and its ban on abortion makes its cameo.
“In Malta it’s illegal to get an abortion even if the mother’s life is threatened,” one of the facts reads.
Other laws mentioned include one in Lebanon’s which allows rapists to walk away freely if they marry their victim and the fact that 116 countries still permit child marriage.
Belarus’ ban on women working 181 occupations and the fact that doctors in certain U.S states are forced to give false information about abortion to stop it were also mentioned.
The video has ranked over half a million views, and some comments were explicitly shocked at the state of the island’s laws, while others praised it.
“And they still say we have equal rights,” one commentator said.
Abortion is illegal in all circumstances according to Maltese law. However, in practice, doctors use legal loopholes to terminate life-threatening pregnancies.
Earlier this month, an anonymous woman divulged her traumatic experience after being forced to wait for a medical board’s approval to terminate her potentially-life threatening ectopic pregnancy. She was eventually administered the drug methotrexate, which is by technically criminal.
In other cases, gynaecologists resort to using the ethical “principle of double-effect” as a legal loophole for treatment, by removing the fallopian tube surgically. This effectively halts her chances of having children in the future.
About one in 80 pregnancies in Malta each year are ectopic, meaning they’re non-viable and could be fatal for the mother. As it stands, women could endure unnecessary surgical procedures because of the anti-abortion legislation, like this woman who spoke to Lovin Malta.
What do you make of the video? Comment below