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  • Writer's pictureDoctors for Choice

If you want to have an abortion with pills in Malta, it is still safe to do so. Here's why.

This week's events may rightly have upset many women. A woman was charged in court with having an abortion. We know abortion with pills is very common in Malta, with at least 400 women undertaking the procedure each year. If you are one of these women, you should not let these week's events worry you. Here are a few reasons why.

This case was an exceptional one

In this week's case, charges were issued by the police after the woman's partner reported her for having an abortion with pills, and the police were provided with enough evidence to prove the case. The woman was in an abusive relationship and was even found with signs of physical injury on her body. These circumstances are exceptional and do not apply to the vast majority of women having an abortion.

There is no evidence that the police are actively looking for women who order pills online. They will only act if someone reports the abortion and provides enough proof. Unless someone known to the person reports them, it is almost impossible for a woman to end up in trouble. This is because the online systems of the abortion telemedicine providers Women on Web and Women Help Women are very secure.

This case was rare

Another factor to consider is the rarity of this case. We know from data revealed to us by the abortion telemedicine providers that at least 400 women undertake an abortion with pills in Malta each year. There have not been any prosecutions for abortion in the last six years at least. Therefore, this case was only one out of several thousand and is therefore rare.

The court did not impose any punishment in this case

Although the law in Malta contemplates up to three years of imprisonment for women who undertake an abortion, the court in this case did not impose any punishment, even though the woman pleaded guilty. The sentence was a conditional discharge for three years. This means no probation, no fines, and no prison sentence. The only caveat is that if the woman commits another offence in the next three years, she may receive a worse sentence for that offence.

We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Women's Rights Foundation legal team for the good outcome in this case, and if anyone has any legal issues related to abortion or domestic issues they should definitely consider contacting them for help.


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