Hospital authorities in Malta, the only EU country that prohibits abortion under any circumstances, will not allow it to terminate a pregnancy. Rights activists in Malta say the legislation threatens reproductive health and have sought to challenge it in court.
The couple from Washington State, near Seattle, said Prudente’s water had broken and there was no more amniotic fluid, increasing the risk of infection and a potential threat to her life. They feared that they might be “stuck” because they requested a medical transfer to another country to terminate the pregnancy, but initially they had trouble getting certified that they were fit to travel by doctors.
“We certainly didn’t come for an abortion, but here we’re talking about saving a woman’s life,” her partner, Jay Wilder, said. Tell Earlier Times of Malta.
Physicians for Choice, which advocates for reproductive rights in Malta and services including abortion, said that despite the woman’s rupture of membranes and the separation of the placenta, the abortion was refused because “there was still a heartbeat of the fetus”.
Paramedics told Prudente they “could only intervene if she was about to die,” the group said this week, even though she faced the stress of carrying a fetus that would not survive and the risk of infection, such as sepsis or bleeding. She said obstetrical guidelines typically recommend offering a termination to avoid infection or death “in critical cases where the fetus is not yet viable, before 24 weeks.”
While the American couple may have secured the eviction with their travel insurance, The nonprofit said it had heard from Maltese women in similar situations who were “afraid to speak out” and had few options.
She added that the country’s laws mean that women who abort and the doctors who assist them could face prison terms, although no prosecution or imprisonment has been carried out for several years.
There was no immediate comment from authorities in Malta, where activists protested the blanket ban Wednesday outside parliament.
Women’s groups said Prudente’s case brought to mind the story of dentist Savita Halappanavar, who died in an Irish hospital in 2012 After the authorities refused to terminate her pregnancy despite the abortion, due to the ban on abortion in the country at that time.
Ireland has since lifted the ban in a landslide vote, with some other countries making it easier to legally submit to the measure in recent years, including MexicoAnd the ArgentinaAnd the ColombiaAnd the New Zealand and Thailand.
The appeal of the American couple comes at a time when the controversy over abortion, one of the most polarizing issues in American politics, is growing. Legislators in some states have made access more difficult, leaked draft opinion suggests US Supreme Court Can overturn the right to abortion enshrined in Raw vs. Wade It sent shock waves across the country last month.