Malta to Ease EU's Last Total Ban On Abortion

    Malta to Ease EU's Last Total Ban On Abortion
    Last updated Nov 17, 2022
    Image credit: File Photo [via Reuters]


    • On Wednesday, Malta's Health Minister, Chris Fearne, announced that the Mediterranean island is set to propose a change to its abortion law to allow doctors to terminate a pregnancy if a mother's life or safety is at risk. Malta is the only current EU state to have a total abortion ban.[1]
    • The reform comes after US tourist Andrea Prudente was refused an abortion in June for a non-viable pregnancy while facing a potentially deadly infection. She was eventually transferred to Spain, where she had the procedure.[2]
    • In September, Prudente sued the Malta government, claiming that the law banning abortion in all circumstances breaches human rights. The case hasn't yet come to trial.[3]
    • Under current law, if an abortion is performed to save a mother's life, both the doctor and the woman face up to four years in prison.[4]
    • The first reading of the amendment will be presented to parliament on Monday.[5]


    Left narrative

    Finally, political attitudes towards abortion in Malta are beginning to change. Often used within Maltese politics for self-serving, partisan interests, the topic of abortion is now being treated as a genuine ethical issue that requires long-overdue reform. This may be the first step to eliminating the Mediterranean island's archaic abortion law.

    Right narrative

    Media coverage surrounding Malta's abortion laws has often been plagued by misinformation. Polling has consistently shown that a majority support Malta's pro-life stance. While this latest reform purportedly attempts to balance this stance with women's health, Malta needs to be cautious not to bend to outside media pressure.

    Political split



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