Decriminalise Abortion in Malta
Updated: Oct 4, 2020
One of the aims of Doctors for Choice is to campaign for the decriminalisation of abortion in Malta. This may seem like a complex concept, but it's actually rather simple.
At the moment, women who have abortions in Malta face three years in prison. In other words, vulnerable women who have abortions for any reason, including when there is risk to their health and in cases of sexual assault, face a prison sentence. Doctors who help women have abortions in Malta face four years in jail and a permanent revocation of their licence.
Decriminalisation means that abortion is no longer seen as a criminal act. This does not mean abortion becomes unregulated or a free-for-all, but it is regulated like any other medical and surgical procedure, and not through penalties in the Maltese Criminal Code. The relevant articles criminalising abortion should be revoked completely.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) have taken official stands in favour of the decriminalisation of abortion, and several countries have amended their laws to remove the possibility of women having abortions going to prison.
Irrespective of your personal views on abortion, would you rather punish women who have had an abortion (some of whom could be your family and friends) by sending them to prison for 3 years? OR Would you rather help them and support them? We hope it is the latter. Current Maltese law criminalising abortion also stops women who need medical attention from seeking help. This is why abortion has to be decriminalised.
Support those around you and your loved ones by advocating to decriminalise abortion.