We are honoured and proud that one of our board members, Dr Natalie Psaila, has been featured on the BBC 100 Women of 2023, the first time a Maltese women has been named on the list.
Dr Natalie Psaila is a GP and a leading pro-choice activist in Malta, advocating for comprehensive sexual education, the provision of contraception, and the decriminalisation of abortion.
She has made it onto the BBC list because "Malta has some of the strictest rules on abortion in Europe and Natalie Psaila helps women who need information and advice. She has established a helpline that gives support to women before, during and after abortion. She has also published a sex education book aimed at 10 to 13-year-olds called My Body's Fantastic Journey, to help improve knowledge of reproductive health in the country."
The helpline is the Abortion Doula Support Service, a free service run by Dr Natalie Psaila and Prof Isabel Stabile that provides free medical information to women in Malta undergoing an abortion, and it helps keep women safe from complications or dangerous abortion methods.
Following the publication of the BBC 100 Women of 2023 list, Dr Natalie Psaila issued this statement:
"I am honoured to have been included in the BBC 100 Women list, and to my knowledge, I am the first Maltese person to be selected.
I’m glad that the hardship and struggles of women, girls and all those who can get pregnant in Malta are being recognized and highlighted through this distinction. I note that I am listed under the Science, Health and Tech category, which correctly supports our insistence as Doctors for Choice that abortion care is indeed healthcare.
Although I consider myself an activist, my primary concern is the provision of evidence-based medical care to anyone who needs it, be it sex education, contraception or abortion. Here I must also highlight my colleagues, Prof Isabel Stabile and Dr Christopher Barbara, who are crucial and important partners in this work. I’m very grateful to my husband, Ian, who supports me in everything I do.
The inclusion on this list of a Maltese person working to improve the situation of reproductive healthcare provision and education highlights the dire situation in this country. I call on the Government of Malta to recognise the severity of the situation and take immediate action to redress the harm that those who can get pregnant in Malta are facing. Women are suffering right now. This is why Doctors for Choice set up its Abortion Doula Support helpline earlier this year to provide information before, during and after abortion. Next week, I shall be lobbying Members of the European Parliament about the dismal situation in Malta and call upon them to act."