Two years of helping people in Malta access abortions
Joint Press Release
Voice for Choice, FPAS, Doctors for Choice, Women’s Rights Foundation and Abortion Support Network see some progress, push for change.
For two years, prochoice groups have been working to ensure that anyone who is pregnant is able to access factual, unbiased information about all pregnancy options, and, if desired and required, obtain support and funding to access a safe abortion at home with pills or abroad in a clinic.
On behalf of Abortion Support Network, Mara Clarke:
“ASN expanded our services to Malta on 14 February 2019. Since then, more than 200 people have contacted us for information about abortion clinics, reputable online providers of medical abortion pills, funding to help with the costs of abortion and travel, and logistical support. We helped 75 people in 2019 and 126 people in 2020. The increase was likely due to an increased awareness of ASN and the help we provide and the added pressure Covid-19 placed on people in Malta with unintended or non-viable pregnancies.”
Lara Dimitrijevic, Women's Rights Foundation:
“We launched Malta’s first ever prochoice coalition in March 2019 and spent the past two years campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion and for laws that bring Malta’s abortion laws in line with international human rights standards. We were pleased to see October’s study by statistician Vincent Marmara showing that 18.1% of people would be in favour of the introduction of abortion in Malta. This is a ten percent increase over the previous year, with even higher numbers of younger people in favour of abortion law liberalisation. Change is happening.”
Professor Isabel Stabile of Doctors for Choice said:
“When ASN first opened to Malta, they had to signpost anyone who wanted factual pregnancy options counselling to a service in the UK. However, the Family Planning Advisory Service (FPAS) launched on 1 August 2020, giving people of Malta a Maltese pregnancy options service. In our first six months, FPAS was contacted by 203 people who sought advice on reproductive options. Additional queries were about assisted reproductive technology including pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. It is a shame that people in Malta continue to be deprived of access to essential reproductive healthcare. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers for the time dedicated to help people in Malta who are neglected and denied their rights by the state.”
All of these groups have pledged to do whatever they can to ensure that anyone in Malta who wants an abortion is able to access one safely, to provide any pregnant person unsure of what to do with all possible options (parenting, adoption, abortion), to signpost people to information about IVF and peri-natal testing, to present the facts about abortion and the people who need abortions, and to do their best to work to make it so that people in Malta are able to access the full range of sexual and reproductive healthcare available, in Malta and without fear of judgement or criminal prosecution.