Doctors for Choice
The government is favouring conservative ideology over women's health
It is a shame that Malta's government has decided to give a considerable sum of money to Life Network Foundation to run its services over the next three years. This means public money is being used to fund an agenda that is based on conservative religious beliefs rather than evidence based medicine, and this strategy is harmful to the health of women in Malta.
A quick look at the website of Life Line Malta, a support helpline for women in pregnancy crisis run by Life Network Foundation, reveals a number of medical untruths that are framed in a way to promote the organisation's anti-abortion and anti-contraception agenda. For example, the website claims that morning after pills can be used to "end an early pregnancy." This is untrue and there is no reputable scientific evidence to support such a claim. The morning after pills do not cause abortion if there already is a pregnancy ongoing. The abortion pills are completely different medicines.
Another dangerous claim made on the Life Line website is that the effects of Mifepristone, the first abortion pill, "can be reversed in some cases." There is no treatment that has been proven to reverse the effects of Mifepristone, and a trial to look into whether giving Progesterone after Mifepristone could continue the pregnancy had to be stopped after women developed haemorrhages. Not only is "abortion pill reversal" treatment unproven, it is probably dangerous.
It is indeed a shame that the government has decided to provide pregnancy support services by funding an organisation that does not believe in conventional evidence-based medicine. The health and safety of women in Malta will not benefit from such a move.
By Dr Chris Barbara