82 women contacted Abortion Support Network in 2019

Abortion Support Network has revealed that in its first year of operations in Malta, 82 women contacted the network for support on abortion 

The ages of the women contact the helpline range between 19 and 46 years of age
The ages of the women contact the helpline range between 19 and 46 years of age

82 women have contacted the UK based charity, Abortion Support Network (ASN) in its first year of operations in Malta, the network revealed on Friday. 

Out of the 82 women, ASN said that it funded travel, consultations and abortion care for ten women. The ages of the women who contacted the helpline ranged between 19 and 46 years of age.  

“While we are unhappy that people from Malta need to contact our charity for help in order to receive factual information about pregnancy options and help with abortion care, we are glad to be of service to anyone in Malta who wants or needs to terminate a pregnancy and lacks the information or funding to do so. We long for the days when our services are no longer necessary, not only for people in Malta but anywhere else. Until then, ASN remains committed to supporting people in Malta in any way we can, for as long as our services remain needed,” ASN, Founder, Mara Clarke said.

ASN said that the vast majority of those who contacted ASN wanted unbiased information about the options available to them. The network said that the majority of those contacting the charity were seeking information on reputable providers of early medical abortion pills. Several callers could afford the cost of abortion and travel and just needed guidance on how to make arrangements. ASN said those who needed financial help were given a total of £8,882.74 in grants from the charity, £2,263.52 towards the cost of travel and accommodation and £6,619.22 towards consultations and abortion care services.

The network said that consultations and abortion care services are on average £888.74 per client. “A few callers stopped contacting the charity after the initial email or call, a few were unable to travel due to lack of childcare or immigration status, and some decided, after considering their options, to continue with the pregnancy,” ASN said.

A spokesperson for Voice for Choice Christopher Barbara said that the numbers continued to confirm that women from Malta have had to rely on other countries and NGOs to received the healthcare they need, because of the inability of policymakers in Malta to put evidence-based medicine and human rights before personal beliefs.

“It is a shame that Malta continues to deliberately digress from what is internationally considered good medical practice when it comes to abortion care. We do not digress like this in any other medical field, and it is a symptom of women being treated as second class citizens in our country,” Barbara said.

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