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Malta set to ease strict anti-abortion laws

Malta will ease its anti-abortion laws to allow terminations of pregnancies when the mother’s life or health is in danger, Chris Fearne (health minister) said Wednesday (16 November).

Only one European Union country has an abortion ban: the Mediterranean island. Opposition is strong among seniors, according to opinion polls.

Fearne said that parliament will present legislative amendments next week in order to address situations where a woman’s life and health are at risk. However, the foetus can not be born.

He stated that a doctor could face up to four years in prison if he terminates a pregnancy to save the mother’s life. Women who end their pregnancy for the same reason could also be sentenced to four years.


“The choice isn’t whether the mother or baby survives. He stated that it was a choice between the death and survival of the mother.

“We don’t believe that after suffering such an ordeal, the woman should face the possibility of being imprisoned.”

After an American tourist, Andrea Rudente, was denied a June request for an end to a non-viable pregnancy after she began to bleed profusely. The reform is now in effect


Her doctors told her that her life was at risk. She was moved to Spain where she was able have an abortion.

Prudente sued Malta’s government on September. Prudente demanded that the courts declare that any law that prohibits abortion in any circumstances was a violation to human rights. The case is currently pending.

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