Reproductive rights activists say Covid-19 travel route shutdown has led to vendors peddling fake and potentially unsafe abortion pills to women on Facebook in Malta. Abortion is still prohibited in Malta, but women seeking terminations could previously circumvent the ban by travelling abroad to abortion clinics. The cessation of passenger flights to and from the island, as a result of Covid-19 restrictions, has provided an opportunity for the criminally unscrupulous to make a profit.
In a Facebook post, the Women’s Rights Foundation reported that six local Facebook pages were offering abortion pills for sale online. All the pages were created between the end of March and mid-May 2020. They warned that such businesses were unreliable and dangerous. “This is exactly what happens when abortion laws, like the ones in Malta, especially now when flights are grounded – allow crooks and criminals to prey on the most vulnerable and marginalized women,” they said. “The state, in all its righteousness, is exposing women in Malta to serious risks,” They urged readers to report the links to Facebook. SOURCE: Malta Today, by Matthew Agius, 16 May 2020 ; VISUAL: 2 April 2020