After years of silence, Malta has begun to break the taboo around abortion with anonymous women slowly sharing their stories. Now, one ambitious project is looking to create a safe platform to turn their experiences into one powerful voice.
‘Dear Decision Makers’ is looking to take individual stories and compile it into one comprehensive document for anyone, including Malta’s decision-makers, to read.
Abortion remains an entirely criminal offence in Malta and is not allowed in any circumstance. A woman who willingly gets an abortion could face up to three years in prison. Still, there were at least 58 women in Malta who got an abortion in 2019, and many others travel alone and in silence.
The team behind ‘Dear Decision Makers’ hopes they can change that.
Laura Paris led a team made up of Emily Galea, Alessandra Baldacchino, and Liza Caruana-Finkel to set up the platform. It is open to anyone who wants to share their stories and open up on the trauma current abortion laws have caused them. It is supported by Young Progressive Beings and Break the Taboo Malta
For example, if you’ve ever travelled abroad for a legal abortion, attempted an abortion in Malta, remained pregnant against your will, put your life at risk, or remained in an abusive relationship because of the ban – the platform is a safe space to share your story.
They’re also inviting healthcare professionals to come on board, who at times feel unable to provide their patients with the right information who at times feel unable to provide their patients with adequate care or options
“No one should face barriers to reproductive healthcare. All stories are welcome. You are not alone,” the team said in a statement.
Abortion remains a controversial topic in Malta, with the overwhelming majority of people vehemently against the practice, including Malta’s President George Vella.
However, the team behind the platform hopes that compiling isolated stories into a comprehensive document can be used to help generate public debate on the taboo issue and sheds light on some of the impacts Malta’s abortion ban is having on everyday people.
“Through these collective voices, we would like to convey to policymakers and the Maltese public that access to safe abortion is essential.”
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