Much has been said on the subject of abortion in Malta in the past year, but one thing hasn’t budged: the law. Now, one year after a Maltese doctor dubbed women “incubators”, a group of young pro-choice activists have returned to Valletta.
“The Maltese government refuses to acknowledge women’s right to bodily autonomy, so we will continue to fight for it,” the group, Young Progressive Beings, announced earlier this morning, sharing a photo of the activists just outside Parliament.
Banners stating everything from “Trust Women” to “Our Bodies, Our Choices, Our Future” were placed in front of the prominent Valletta building, with one large banner reading: “One Year Later, Still An Incubator”.
“Within the year that passed, laws have remained unchanged and women continue to suffer the consequences,” YPB said in a statement soon after.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated women’s situations due to travel restrictions (barring women from their only legal option for abortion), the rise in domestic violence, and the lack of accessibility to the contraceptive pill,” the group continued.
“Additionally, comments made by MP Jean Claude Micallef stating his intentions to prosecute women for seeking abortions abroad ultimately further violates the rights of women, and conveys a lack of knowledge of jurisdiction,” YPB fnished. “As women ourselves, we feel that it is our duty to speak out on the injustice and suffering women in this country continue to endure, violating their human rights.”
Abortion in Malta is still illegal, but the debate on the mostly-taboo issue has been heating up in recent months.
Just a couple of days ago, Maltese MEP and former Prime Minister Alfred Sant said abortion is recognised as a civil right in the European Union and Malta must have a civil and serious debate on the issue too.
At the same time, however, pro-choice activists continue to face great abuse online and whenever they make their voices heard in demonstrations like this morning’s.