Doctors for Choice, Malta: Position Paper on Abortion

The mission of Doctors for Choice is to advocate for sexual and reproductive healthcare in Malta that is safe, equitable, and accessible. Our main aims are to achieve:

1. Comprehensive sexual and reproductive education

2. Comprehensive and freely accessible contraception

3. Decriminalisation of abortion

4. Changes to the law to allow the provision of safe, equitable, and accessible abortion services

The aim of this position paper is to convey the medical aspects of abortion care, and explain to the general public and stakeholders why abortion care is to be regarded ‘an essential area of women’s healthcare’, as stated by Professor Lesley Regan, past president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

This position paper will also substantiate our call for the decriminalisation of abortion, and for changes to the law to allow the provision of abortion services in Malta. We will describe the current legal and policy situation on abortion in Malta, and why this is detrimental to pregnant people’s health. We will also elucidate the medical reasoning behind why the provision of abortion care within the national health service would be an important measure to safeguard the health of women in our country, and how the criminalisation of abortion is detrimental to the doctor-patient relationship and good patient care.

We will also draw upon medical and scientific literature to dispel common misconceptions about the provision of abortion care, particularly to stress that abortion as a medical or surgical procedure is a very safe procedure for women.

SOURCE: Doctors for Choice, Malta, by Dr Christopher Barbara (Psychiatry), Dr Gilbert Gravino (Clinical Radiology), Dr Jamie Grech (Paediatric Medicine), Dr Natalie Psaila (Family Medicine), Dr Elena Saliba (Paediatric Medicine), and Prof Isabel Stabile (Obstetrics and Gynaecology), February 2020