Doctors for Choice, Malta: Position Paper on Abortion

The mission of Doctors for Choice is to advocate for sexualand 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 medicalaspects of abortion care, and explain to the general public and stakeholderswhy 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 ofObstetricians and Gynaecologists.

This position paper will also substantiate our call for thedecriminalisation of abortion, and for changes to the law to allow the provisionof abortion services in Malta. We will describe the current legal and policysituation on abortion in Malta, and why this is detrimental to pregnantpeople’s health. We will also elucidate the medical reasoning behind why theprovision of abortion care within the national health service would be animportant measure to safeguard the health of women in our country, and how thecriminalisation of abortion is detrimental to the doctor-patient relationshipand good patient care.

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

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