Irish abortion charity comes to Malta

Since Ireland no longer restricts women's options for dealing with unwanted pregnancy, Irish activists have turned to Malta to help women affected by the country's abortion ban.

Daiva Repeckaite
Daiva Repeckaite NewsMavens, Malta
Irish abortion charity comes to Malta - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

Malta is now the only country in the EU where termination of pregnancy is completely banned -- including in cases of incest and rape. The Euro Health Consumer Index, which rates patient rights in various healthcare systems, notes that the total abortion ban puts Maltese women at risk by forcing them to seek abortions abroad or in unlicensed clinics.

Now Abortion Support Network (ASN) has extended its services to Malta and Gibraltar, offering non-judgemental counseling. In the article below, Malta Today explains that, although Maltese law criminalizes assisting or abetting abortion, the charity is protected by the European Convention of Human Rights and case law -- a landmark decision by the European Court of Human Rights in 1992 against Ireland.

Mara Clarke, founder of the women’s charity Abortion Support Network (ASN) told Malta Today: "I know that for the people who can afford it, [having to travel for abortion is] an inconvenience, and for the people who can’t, it’s catastrophic."

Details from the story:

  • For nine years, the ASN has helped women in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man find information about how to end unwanted pregnancies in the most affordable way.
  • In February, ASN expanded to Malta and Gibraltar. It can operate in Malta because it only offers information.
  • Surveys conducted by Malta Today show an overwhelming majority of over 95% are against the legalization of abortion.
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