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Maltese Activists Protest Court’s Travel Ban On Domestic Violence Victim Feared To Get An Abortion

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Feminist activists in Malta staged a public stunt in protest of a court decision that barred a pregnant woman from travelling to get an abortion.

A handful of people laid colourful placards with powerful slogans on the steps of the law courts. The protest opposed a provisional injunction that prevents a woman and alleged domestic abuse victim from leaving the country in fear she may terminate the pregnancy abroad.

 

“A woman is being held hostage based on abuser’s claim that she might do something perfectly legal,” one placard read.

“Shame on Malta’s justice system.”

“Protect vulnerable women!” read another.

“Would you like it if your passport was taken because you wanted to go to Amsterdam?”

“Today, we are gathered to speak out against a court hearing this morning, which saw a domestic violence victim detained and her passport confiscated, on the grounds that she may seek an abortion abroad,” the organiser from pro-choice group Young Progressive Beings explained.

“This ultimately breaches her right to free travel and privacy, as well as her right to bodily autonomy. It is perfectly legal to seek an abortion abroad, which is why it is completely unacceptable that she is being held in Malta against her will.”

This morning, Women’s Rights Foundation flagged a court decision to ban their 15-week-pregnant client from travelling after her perpetrator insisted that she would get an abortion abroad, an allegation that WRF vehemently denied. 

Lara Dimitrijevic, who heads the Women’s Rights Foundation, said that they will fight tooth and nail to seek justice, and exhaust all possible channels, including the European Court of Human Rights if the need arises.

“This is not only contrary to her right to freedom of movement, but also is in breach of her fundamental right to privacy and blatant gender discrimination, just because she is a woman,” WRF warned. 

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