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Sunset in Valetta, the capitol of Malta. (Image: Zoltan Tasi/

International pressure to change Malta’s abortion law has ebbed and flowed, but has increased greatly in recent years.

By Dr. Miriam Sciberras, Catholic World Report, September 6, 2023

Dr. Miriam Sciberras, a Maltese mother with an M.A. in bioethics from the University of Malta, is chief executive officer of Life Network Malta, a coalition of prolife groups that has fought to keep abortion out of the island country

On June 23, the Maltese Government made an abrupt positive pro-life U-turn, shelving an abortion “reform” bill the Labor Government had introduced in November 2022 and hoped to enact by Christmas. It reversed course following a huge public outcry, compounded by the President’s threatened resignation if the bill passed Parliament. As a result, Malta remains one of the last countries in Europe that still protects unborn life.

Background: International pressure to change Malta’s abortion law has ebbed and flowed, but grew in intensity after an American tourist, Andrea Prudente, was admitted to a Maltese hospital in June 2022. She was 16 weeks pregnant and suffered ruptured membranes. Her fetus was still alive, and she was treated and monitored by a team of doctors. At no point was her life in danger, as local and international media implied. Under Maltese law, if a mother’s life was clinically diagnosed to be endangered, a physician could deliver the child, even if at a gestational stage that survival outside the womb was unlikely. Malta has had no maternal mortalities for the past dozen years, the lowest maternal mortality ratio in the world despite its protective pro-life laws. …

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