At least 227 abortion pill kits were sent to women in Malta during the pandemic, figures from an international telemedicine organisation revealed.
Speaking to local pro-choice group Doctors For Choice, Women on the Web confirmed that it shipped 227 kits to Maltese woman who needed abortions between March 2020 and March 2021.
That translates to roughly 19 abortion pill kits a month. However, this hardly paints a full picture. Women on the Web is just one organisation supporting women facing abortion restrictions.
Abortion telemedicine has become a vital tool for those seeking an abortion during the pandemic. Malta is one of the last countries where terminating a pregnancy is completely illegal. With international travel severely disrupted in COVID-19 lockdowns, pills were often the only means of abortion.
Research by the WOtW found that demand for abortion pills saw the highest increase from Malta during the pandemic. In countries where abortion is legal but clinics and intra-country travel were restricted, requests for abortion telemedicine was also reported to rise.
Speaking on the matter, Doctors For Choice insisted that Malta’s “outdated laws” on abortion are putting women’s lives at risk.
“There is no evidence to suggest the prohibition of abortion in Malta reduces the rates of abortion, and tentative estimates have found the abortion rates in Malta to be similar to those of other EU countries,” a spokesperson said.
“However, the criminalisation of abortion may make women in Malta who make use of abortion telemedicine more reluctant to seek help in local hospitals or with local doctors if they experience complications, which may increase the risk to their health and safety,” they finished.
What do you make of these figures?