Every pregnancy carries a certain degree of risk to the woman’s health and life, with some incurring a more serious risk than others. It is every woman’s prerogative to choose how much risk she is willing to take to carry a pregnancy to term. This must be supported by consultation with doctors of her choice who provide impartial and factual information.
Recent events have seen at least two women deprived of essential obstetric healthcare and had to be airlifted out of Malta for a medical procedure. From a technical aspect this could have easily been provided locally but doctors were unable to do so because of the law.
Many women have also shared their pregnancies stories, explaining how they were maimed, temporarily or permanently injured, made infertile, rendered disabled and/or left living a life of chronic pain, and being psychologically scarred for life. These cases are often hidden as they are not traced in any official figures or records.
The introduction of the proposed amendment on abortion into our laws is the least that can be done in order to better protect the health and lives of women and girls on this island. Opposing the proposed law altogether or further diluting what is already a bare minimum is to put women’s lives, health and general wellbeing at higher risk.
A lot has been said about the latest femicide case, and it is pertinent to point out that the European Institute for Gender Equality regards any death of a woman secondary to denial of reproductive healthcare as a state sponsored femicide.
The proposed amendment should be introduced without any further delay, but a broader discussion on sexual and reproductive rights in Malta needs to follow.
We urge everyone involved and every MP who has the wellbeing of Malta’s women and girls close to their heart to support the change in the law.
This statement was endorsed by the following organisations:
Academics for Choice
Students for Choice