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  • Writer's pictureDoctors for Choice

More details on the case of the woman who was prosecuted for having an abortion in Malta

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

More details have emerged on the case of the Maltese woman who was prosecuted for having an abortion on the 1st of June 2023. Information about the case has been slow to emerge because the court sitting was heard behind closed doors, which means the media were not allowed to be present, the court has banned the publication of the accused's name, and the court has also prohibited the judgement from being published on the official online sentence database. However, we are now able to disclose more details about the circumstances of the case.

The woman was in an abusive relationship

When the police came to question the woman, she was found with signs of beatings on her body which were most likely inflicted by her partner.

The woman was reported by her partner

It was the accused's partner who reported her to the police while she was undertaking an abortion with pills at home.

The woman is a mother to a young child

This was not the woman's first pregnancy. She is already the mother of a young child. This is not unexpected, because we know from statistics disclosed by abortion telemedicine services that a majority of women who order abortion pills in Malta are already mothers.

The woman had mental health issues

It has also emerged that the woman had significant mental health issues, which increase her vulnerability.

Are we surprised by this? Not at all. We never expected someone who is well off, in a supportive relationship, and who is able to travel to an abortion clinic abroad to end up in this situation. It was someone who was unable to travel, was in an abusive relationship, and was very vulnerable who was dragged through the Maltese criminal justice system for having an abortion. Instead of receiving the care and support she needed, this woman was treated as a criminal and now has a conviction to her name. The Prime Minister Robert Abela stated that he is uncomfortable that this case happened. We are not just uncomfortable; we are enraged and disgusted. Malta's blanket ban on abortion has no place in the 21st century and is an insult to all women who reside in the country.


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