Pro-choice activists in Malta staged an impromptu protest last night after news emerged that a local woman was forced to wait to terminate her unviable pregnancy due to the islands’ tough abortion laws.
“We gather because the life of a woman was deemed less important than that of an unviable fetus. Because women’s healthcare is not given the importance it deserves,” activist group Young Progressive Beings said in a statement.
Dozens of young people turned up outside Parliament to condemn the action, holding signs that read “Ecoptic pregnancy is not a death sentence” and “my body my choice”.
Yesterday, an online platform that posts anonymous abortion stories Break the Taboo shared a story of a local woman who, despite taking contraception, fell pregnant. She discovered it was an ectopic pregnancy which meant it was not viable and left untreated could be life-threatening.
Despite the seriousness of her condition, the patient was left “traumatised” after facing several hurdles to receive treatment due to Malta’s tough abortion laws.
The case had to be brought to a medical board to be discussed at length and then signed off by a number of people in hospital before it could be dispensed. The process took around several days.
Activists wrote off the action as a show of “vile misogyny” in Malta’s institutions.
“The fact that the value of this woman’s life and health had to be debated by a board of doctors, risking her life for two whole days, is absolutely unacceptable.”
“There is nothing pro-life about withholding lifesaving treatment,” YPB wrote.
Malta’s pro-choice doctors also warned that Maria’s story wasn’t uncommon for the islands and that the ban had negative impacts on their ability to help patients.
Do you think Malta needs to revisit its abortion laws for unviable pregnancies?