Women’s rights groups in Malta step up campaign to legalize abortion : Peoples Dispatch

Mobilization demanding the legalization of abortions in Malta. (Photo: via Lara Dimitrijevic)

Women’s rights groups and other progressive sections in Malta, under the ‘Voice for Choice’ platform, have stepped up their campaign against the country’s abortion ban and are demanding an end to the criminalization of abortion. procedure. On Wednesday, June 15, at the instigation of various women’s rights groups including the Women’s Rights Foundation, a demonstration was organized in front of the courthouse where a petition was filed demanding the lifting of the ban on abortion. .

On behalf of 188 women, the Women’s Rights Foundation filed a petition calling on the Minister of Health, the Parliamentary Secretary for Equality and Reforms and the State’s Attorney to legalize abortion and decriminalize the procedure. Various groups, including the Aditus Foundation, Doctors for Choice Malta, Integra Foundation, Graffiti Movement, Malta Humanist Association, Men Against Violence, Parents for Choice and Young Progressive Beings, among others, have expressed their support and solidarity with the women’s struggle Maltese to legalize abortions. .

Currently, Malta remains the only country in the European Union (EU) to completely ban abortion. Malta has one of the strictest anti-abortion laws and makes the act a criminal offence. As a result, hundreds of women are forced to travel overseas to access abortions each year. Former Independent MP (MP) Marlene Farrugia pushed a proposal to legalize abortion in the last legislature, but it was blocked.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (EPF) expressed its solidarity with pro-choice protesters in Malta. In its statement, the EPF said: “We believe that access to legal, safe and affordable abortion and other reproductive health services is essential to protect not only women’s rights, but also their life”.

Ahead of the mobilization in court on Wednesday, the Women Rights Foundation said: “Today we are supporting 188 women, trans and non-binary people who want legal action against the Maltese State for denying them access to a safe and legal abortion. . The legal action, intended to be taken to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary, seeks to overturn Malta’s comprehensive abortion ban, which undermines the human rights of people in Malta.

“Over the past few years, Malta has made great strides towards becoming a more inclusive society. The current government prides itself on this fact. It is therefore time to address the laws related to abortion to reflect the reality of current life. Women, girls and anyone at risk of becoming pregnant who has to terminate their pregnancy for whatever reason are not second-class citizens,” the group added.

About Michael S. Montanez

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