Doctors for Choice
Malta has the highest teen birth rate in Southern Europe
Updated: Feb 27, 2021
Statistics from Eurostat show that over the past decade Malta has consistently reported the highest rate of teen births in proportion to its population compared to Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, and the EU as a whole.
The drop in teen birth rates seen between 2012 and 2014 coincided with Women on Web starting to send abortion pills to women and girls in Malta.
The comparatively high teen birth rate in Malta indicates a failure to protect girls and young women from the life altering and potentially devastating effects of pregnancy at such a young age. It is a sign that current sexuality education programmes are not achieving their aim of keeping teen pregnancy rates down, and that the usage and accessibility of contraception is not where it should be. The complete prohibition of abortion, even in cases where a girl has been a victim of rape, contributes to the high rates of teen birth.
Pregnancy and childbirth during the teenage years are usually very disruptive to girls’ education and future career prospects. Having to raise a child at such a young age often leads to financial and social hardship for the whole family.
The Maltese state has a duty to support the health, wellbeing, and education of girls and young women by ensuring they receive comprehensive sexuality education, and have access to contraception and legal abortion services.
Women who would like to access abortion through Women on Web’s self-managed home abortion service can do by visiting www.womenonweb.org. Women Help Women offers a similar service at www.womenhelp.org.