Malta: Bill eases strict abortion ban

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Her health minister MaltaChris Fern, introduced a bill that softens its strict ban abortion in the island nation, allowing termination of pregnancy if the life of the mother or the child is at risk.

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The end of the last absolute ban on European Union it was hailed by abortion rights activists as a victory for women’s rights, although it is still incomplete.

“It is a long-awaited development for women in Malta”Desiree Attar, an activist and lawyer specializing in the protection of human rights, told AFP.

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Currently, doctors who perform abortions face up to four years in prison and a lifetime ban from practicing their profession.

Under the bill, which also needs to be approved by Parliament, an abortion will be legal if “it aims to protect the health of a pregnant woman suffering from a medical complication that may put her life or health at serious risk”.

“For the first time, we have a bill that recognizes our antiquated legal framework and tries to change it, even if only to a small degree.”Desiree Attar commented.

However, doctor Isabel Stabile, a member of the NGO “Doctors for Choice”, expresses regret “where there is still no provision allowing termination of pregnancy in case of rape, incest or fatal fetal abnormality”.

Source: News Beast

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