44

7 comments

Malta is also aggressively pro-trans. Few rights for women and all the "rights" for men pretending to be women make it clear that everyone knows what TIMs are.

Malta is not a good place for women. If I am not much mistaken, the case where a girl was raped by several males in her hotel room and it was deemed "consensual" by the judge also happened there.

Plus, I know someone personally who went to Malta and said going to a bar without having her ass grabbed by several males was virtually impossible! (That might be the case in any tourist destination, to be fair, but if they're so very Catholic, why not start there with the legislation?)

From my point of view, it's not much better than Dubai, and it is high time we started boycotting misogynist countries wherever possible.

Yes, it sucks that we as women have to do the work to research if a place is safe to travel to, but ... compared to other things we have to do to stay safe (I mean, if we really want some tiny bit of safety, having a black belt in at least one martial art would be good ...) it isn't that hard to do.

And often, it is not much of a sacrifice, either - many women go to Dubai for shopping and partying, not to see the nature and culture. Same for Malta, I assume.

If ALL women refused to travel to misogynist countries, change would be quick, I am sure. Especially in countries whose income depends heavily on tourism.

If I am not much mistaken, the case where a girl was raped by several males in her hotel room and it was deemed "consensual" by the judge also happened there.

This one, I think? I'm sure there's a story like this in every country, though.

A legislative amendment will be presented to its Parliament next week allowing abortion if the mother is at risk of death and the fetus is not developed enough to be delivered.

This is not an improvement imo. The problem with the first part; in reality if you are getting sicker and sicker, the doctor will have to use their best judgement to decide when the cut off point is and they are going to err on the side of caution. If it can be shown they acted too soon, they can be prosecuted; but 'too soon' is an allegation that can always be made. So they'll let you get to deaths door before they do anything.

The second part makes no sense. If the mother is so sick her life is at risk the fetus is by default not viable. They would have to perform a C section. Or wait til the fetus dies, in which case that might be too late to save the mother.

Malta announced Wednesday it is easing its abortion laws, becoming the last country in the European Union to end a total ban on the procedure. The Mediterranean nation, located off the coast of Sicily, does not allow women to receive an abortion, including in cases of rape or incest.

However, Health Minister Chris Fearne said the government will amend the law to allow termination of a pregnancy if the mother's life or health is at risk.

A legislative amendment will be presented to its Parliament next week allowing abortion if the mother is at risk of death and the fetus is not developed enough to be delivered.

Currently, Malta's criminal code states any providers who perform an abortion to save the mother's life -- or women who receive an abortion -- could face up to four years in prison.

"The choice isn't whether the mother or the baby survive. The choice here is whether the mother and baby both dies, or whether the mother's life is saved," Fearne told reporters, according to Reuters.

"We don't believe that after going through this ordeal the woman should face the possibility of imprisonment," Fearne said.

The change was spurred after an American pregnant woman nearly died in the country because doctors refused to perform an abortion.

Andrea Prudente was 16 weeks pregnant when she and her partner Jay Weeldreyer decided to go on a two-week "babymoon" to Malta.

One week into the trip, Prudente was rushed to the hospital after she began bleeding profusely. Doctors told her the placenta had separated from the uterus -- a condition known as placental abruption -- and she was miscarrying.

Prudente was told the pregnancy was no longer viable and she was at risk of hemorrhaging if she didn't have an abortion. However, due to Malta's strict abortion laws, doctors were unable to perform the procedure.

After days of communicating with their midwife back in the U.S., Prudente and Weeldreyer were able to get their insurance company to organize an emergency flight to Spain, where an abortion could be performed.

"This baby can't live," Weeldreyer told ABC News at the time. "And the fact that Andrea's being forced to suffer as a consequence of it is barbaric. Like ... it's inexcusable. It's been a long grind. She's been through the wringer," he said.

In September, the couple sued Malta's government, arguing the ban is unconstitutional and violates the European Convention of Human Rights. The case has yet to go to trial.

Malta is a predominantly Catholic country with most residents favoring abortion restrictions. One recent poll found 61.8% of Maltese do not believe abortion should be decriminalized.

The poll showed 27.8% of survey respondents believe abortion should be legal in some circumstances while 8.3% said it should be legal in all cases.

Malta is one of only five countries in Europe where abortion is severely restricted, which includes Andorra, Liechtenstein, Poland and Vatican City.

I'm glad the law is changing but I hate that it either takes an American or a white person for laws to change or action to happen, it seems. I feel so bad for non-american women and women of other races because it's like, they matter too but they're often overlooked and treated like they don't matter. 🙁

I hope one day abortion for all instances is allowed there.

I'm not sure it really was because she is American. Perhaps because she was a tourist and the case got into the media. But Malta is in the EU. It's not a developing country that would value Americans higher than its own citizens, I don't think.

It is probably because she is American that she didn't just quietly book a flight to Spain the moment the bleeding started. Just like the tourist who was raped in Dubai didn't just quietly suffer, like the women who live there.

Women in misogynist countries know how to act to not be hit by the punishments for disobedient women, so the country can look good while the women suffer quietly.