A number of Maltese organisations and individuals have officially launched Voice for Choice, a pro-choice grassroots coalition aimed to bring the debate surrounding abortion to the forefront of society.
“Abortion continues to remain criminalised in Malta in all circumstances. We know the reality is that women in Malta are still seeking and having abortions. However, this comes at both a financial and a social cost, as well as at the cost of their physical and mental health, as these women continue to live in fear, stigma and shame in our society,” the group said in a press conference outside Parliament in Valletta yesterday evening.
“In the last decades Malta has made great strides to be a more inclusive society.”
“It is therefore time that the laws related to abortion follow suit so as to reflect the reality of people’s lives. We are here to ensure that all pregnant persons, irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, beliefs or age are supported, respected and protected whatever their choices,” the group continued.
Pictured above: A brochure handed out by Voice for Choice
The coalition named four main points that will be central to the group’s goals:
1. Striving for a society based on equal respect and justice free from discrimination for all genders and minority groups;
2. Ensuring that barriers in accessing sexual and reproductive health and rights are removed;
3. Promoting equality in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights;
4. Removing shame and stigma related to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
“We intend to achieve these goals through campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion and advocating for laws that ensure that the health of pregnant people is protected and in line with international human rights standards through proper abortion care.”
As part of their education campaign, Voice for Choice will be releasing a series entitled ’30 abortion myths: Get the facts straight’ throughout social media, starting from today.
They’ll also be organising an annual event on International Safe Abortion Day, the 28th of September
Voice for Choice is made up of the Women’s Rights Foundation, Men Against Violence, Moviment Graffitti, Malta Humanist Association, Integra Foundation, aditus foundation, as well as co-founders Francesca Fenech Conti, and Liza Caruana-Finkel and Jelena Bezzina.