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WATCH: Handcuffed Young Maltese Women Call For Decriminalisation Of Abortion Outside Parliament

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A number of Maltese youths have gathered outside Parliament to demand the decriminalisation of abortion in Malta.

The activists, who are calling for an end to laws that could send a woman to jail for up to three years if they had an abortion, said that now was the time to end the “legal oppression” of women.

“Today we gather outside of parliament in response to the stances taken by the two main political parties in Malta regarding reproductive rights. We have handcuffed ourselves to directly portray the reproductive oppression manifested by Malta’s highly restrictive laws,” they said in a statement.

They highlighted three key points:

Having an abortion does not make a person a criminal;
Women who’ve had abortions should not go to prison; and
Having an abortion is undergoing a medical procedure.

“Decisions regarding women’s bodies have no place in the mouths of cisgender male politicians.”

“Human rights cannot be cherry picked; if we are to pride ourselves on being a progressive country, punishing women for enacting their right to choose is both hypocritical and inhumane,” they said.

The debate around abortion in Malta has picked up once again following MP Marlene Farrugia presenting a bill calling for the act to be decriminalised in Malta.

Activists said now was the time to change the law as women had been forced “to turn to unsafe methods, had their mental health suffer unnecessarily, risked their physical health, and been forced to go through cruel obstacles to simply access a medical procedure”.

“Championing the suffering of women for the sake of appearing morally superior is not respectable, but barbaric,” they said. “Being pro-choice does not mean being pro-abortion, it means understanding that such a decision is not anyone’s business but the person who is pregnant. You can personally disagree with abortion while remaining pro-choice.”

What do you think of YPB’s position? 

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Johnathan is interested in the weird, wonderful, and sometimes dark realities late capitalist society forces upon us all. He also likes food and music. Follow him at @supreofficialmt on Instagram, and send him news, food and music stories at [email protected]

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