The US state of Texas now has the most extreme abortion law in the country, banning abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
It is the most draconian law in the States since 1973, when it was ruled that the constitution protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion.
Instead of being enforced by the state government, the law allows anyone to sue those involved in the procedure. Private citizens can sue abortion providers, being able to win up to $10,000 plus the cost of their legal fees.
Encouraging citizens and neighbours to snitch on each other – talk about Orwellian.
The law went into effect on 1st September after the Supreme Court failed to block the law, and it has been met with the necessary national and international backlash.
The world is mad
86% of women who need an abortion will now be unable to access abortion care, as few find out about their pregnancy than 6 weeks into it.
Doctors and women alike are mad. State abortion providers said the law “immediately and catastrophically reduces abortion access in Texas”.
The Texas doctors association condemns the ban, calling the law “unconstitutional” and saying it encourages “vigilante interference” in the fundamental patient-physician relationship.
Women in the US are ‘outraged, sickened and terrified’ as they share their thoughts on the law that bans most abortions and its effect on women’s reproductive rights.
And after abortion rights activists demanded a bigger response from President Joe Biden, it came.
The US Department of Justice sued Texas for its controversial law, with Biden calling the Supreme Court’s decision not to intervene an “unprecedented assault” on women’s rights.
And then there’s Malta
Europe is generally an abortion utopia compared to the US – and then there is Malta. In this EU state, abortion is a criminal act, even in cases where it will save a woman’s life.
Women who have abortions in Malta face a maximum of three years in prison. Doctors who help women have abortions lose their license and face a maximum of four years in jail.
It is one of the last countries on the planet with a blanket ban on abortion.
Yet Malta’s abortion laws go unnoticed globally, and undebated locally.
And that’s a problem. Because every year, over 400 women in Malta have an abortion. Every day, a woman goes through something that she has to do illegally, to bear by herself, and keep to herself.
Dear Decision Makers
A recent publication, Dear Decision Makers, tells 40 tales of Maltese women who have had abortions, either abroad or illegally, or who were forced to give birth against their will.
“The women whose heart-wrenching stories you are about to read, are not numbers,” the introduction reads.
“They are not statistics, or ‘one in a million’ cases. They are not ‘murderers’ or ‘immoral’. They are real people. They have names. They are human beings in their own right, who, regardless of their relation to others, deserve access to healthcare.”
“In this country, the human right to bodily autonomy is lost the moment a person becomes pregnant. Despite being a living, fully actualised human-being, it is not uncommon for such individuals to be treated as lesser than their own pregnancies.”
And that’s the thing. Imagine calling yourself “pro-life”, yet letting the living suffer for the unborn.
Imagine finding the rights of an unborn clump of cells in a uterus more important than the rights of the living, breathing human woman carrying them. It is not pro-life. It is pro-forced birth. It’s a war on women.
So why don’t we show the world how it’s done? Why don’t we move forward, instead of moving back in time half a century like Texas? Why don’t we recognise that we are ruining women’s lives and livelihoods in denying them access to safe abortions?
I had an abortion abroad, and what my life would have been like if I didn’t is unthinkable. Please listen to women. Please read our stories. Please think twice before choosing unborn life over our lives.
Let us at the very least do better than Texas.
Do you think Malta should revisit its abortion laws? Let us know in the comments