There were at least 53 women in Malta who got an abortion in 2018, the UK’s figures on the medical procedure shows.
With several people refusing to disclose their country of residence. Meanwhile, a number of women in Malta travel to other countries around Europe to get an abortion, with Italy, France, Spain, and Germany providing women with access to the medical procedure.
The Abortion Support Network recently revealed that within their first year of operations in Malta, 83 women contacted the service for support, ten of whom were received funding for travelling, consultation, and abortion care.
Those who needed financial help were given a total of £8,882.74 in grants from the charity, £2,263.52 towards the cost of travel and accommodation and £6,619.22 towards consultations and abortion care services.
That’s an average of £888.74 per person.
The majority of people who contact the charity were looking for information on how to acquire early medical abortion pills, while others need guidance on how to make arrangements for the procedure.
As it stands, abortion remains an entirely criminal offence and is not allowed in any circumstance. A woman who willingly gets an abortion is liable to a prison term for 18 months to three years. Three women have been charged since 2000.
It remains a controversial topic in Malta, with the overwhelming majority of people vehemently against the practice, including Malta’s President George Vella.
A number of pro-choice activist groups have emerged over the last year, vowing to break the taboo on the issue in Malta.