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Andrea Prudente Sues Maltese Authorites Over Abortion Denial

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Andrea Prudente, the American woman who was denied an emergency abortion while on a holiday in Malta, has filed a court case against Maltese authorities arguing that the islands’ abortion laws breach human rights.

Lawyer Lara Dimitrijevic, who is representing Prudente in this case, confirmed with Lovin Malta that she submitted the case earlier this morning. 

The case was filed against Health Minister Chris Fearne, Malta’s Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms and Equality Rebecca Buttigieg.

Prudente was enjoying her holiday in Malta back in June when her pregnancy was found to be unviable by Maltese doctors. However, she was denied an abortion, even though her own life was at risk.

This happened even though she was told by Maltese doctors that her placenta had become partially detached and there was “zero chance” her pregnancy would be a success.

Prudente then had to be airlifted out of Malta in order to have her pregnancy terminated elsewhere, being taken to Spain to receive the medical treatment that she required.

She had detailed how Malta’s medical staff advised her that her only options were to wait for the foetus’s heartbeat to stop or for her to develop an infection, after which they could terminate the pregnancy.

Consequently, Prudente spoke to several international media houses, including the UK’s The Guardian, about her ordeal, with the matter making international headlines. 

Lawyer Dimitrijevic is also the founder of the Women’s Rights Foundation, which has been working tirelessly to decriminalise abortion in Malta.

Currently, abortion in Malta is legislated by articles 241(1) and 242, which both prohibit anyone from getting an abortion and impose a penalty on the person who terminates a pregnancy and any person who assists them.

A guilty sentence carries a prison term of anything between 18 months to three years.

Does Malta need to decriminalise abortion?

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Sasha is interested in investigating environmental matters, humans and art. Some know her as Sasha tas-Sigar. Inspired by nature and the changing world. Follow her on Instagram at @saaxhaa and send her your stories at [email protected]

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