Problems with the Morning After Pill in Malta
The morning-after pill (MAP) works by preventing ovulation and fertilisation ONLY. There is no evidence whatsoever that it works in any other way. It will not work if a woman is already pregnant and will not harm an existing pregnancy, in other words it does not cause an abortion.
The sooner it is taken, the more effective it will be in preventing a pregnancy - time is of the essence. For this reason, the MAP should always be widely and readily available.
In Malta the MAP is not always available, with many pharmacies in important locations not stocking the pill, and the national health service not providing it at all (not even against payment). Pharmacies that do stock the MAP are only accessible during specific and limited times of the day, and not everybody may financially afford the costs.
Termination of pregnancy, even in the case of a rape, is illegal and criminalised by Maltese law. Therefore, the MAP is the only means for rape victims in Malta to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
The International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology supports rape survivors’ right to emergency contraception. The World Health Organisation released global guidance on sexual violence in 2013, including clear recommendations for the provision of emergency contraception as part of prompt and comprehensive women-centered care.
Read more about ‘Emergency contraception for rape survivors: A human rights and public health imperative’:
Comprehensive sex education and accessibility to different methods of contraception are also essential, since the MAP (emergency contraception) is not the ideal method of pregnancy prevention for consensual sex. These are issues that Doctor’s for Choice Malta are also addressing.