Last September, gynecologist Isabel Stabile stood outside the Maltese Parliament with a group of activists on In
Unlike Poland, where abortion is difficult to access, but still legal in cases of rape and incest, the abortion law in Malta doesn’t make any exceptions — even when the mother’s health is at risk.
As a result, an estimated 300 pregnant people travel abroad every year to seek abortion services in places like the United Kingdom and Italy, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020, travel restrictions made such trips nearly impossible.”
Mara Clarke, founder and director of Abortion Support Network, explains the significance of the COVID pandemic on access to safe abortion care:
Prior to COVID, the Draconian abortion laws were an inconvenience for women and pregnant people with money, and they were only a catastrophe for people without money or resources or support networks… But suddenly, you have a global pandemic, and literally everybody understands what it means to live in a country with really a bad abortion law.
During the course of the pandemic, activists in Malta have worked to strengthen networks to increase access to safe abortion services and information.
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