Anti-abortion doctors urge MPs to hear Prudente court testimony before abortion law vote

Doctors for Life Malta claim Andrea Prudente’s life was never at risk after suffering a premature rupture of membranes

Andrea Prudente and her partner Jay Weeldreyer at Mater Dei Hospital
Andrea Prudente and her partner Jay Weeldreyer at Mater Dei Hospital

A lobby group of anti-abortion doctors have appealed to MPs to take into account court testimony from a Constitutional Case, filed by an American woman who was refused an abortion in Malta before, before voting on bill amending abortion laws in the coming days.

Doctors for Life Malta issued a statement in response to recent testimony from obstetricians who were taking care of the patient Andrea Prudente that they claim revealed the pro-abortion lobby's manipulation of the case to suit their agenda.

The group claimed that Prudente's life was never at risk due to her condition, which was Premature Prelabour Rupture of Membranes (PPROM) before viability.

Prudente’s plight made international headlines last June, after doctors at Mater Dei Hospital refused to terminate her pregnancy since the foetus still had a heartbeat.

The woman's lawyers said that Malta’s complete ban on abortion prevented doctors from carrying out the procedure – in the process avoiding serious, life-threatening complications for the mother - without facing serious criminal charges. 

Doctors for Life claimed that obstetricians were managing her condition as per normal practice, and that they were not holding back from terminating the pregnancy because it was unnecessary and unethical to do so.

The statement went on to claim that the only pressure on the obstetricians came from the pro-abortion lobby, misinformation in the media, and a lack of statement from the Health Ministry to clarify the medical facts.

They also asserted that pro-choice lobbyist Prof. Stabile went “beyond advocacy” by allegedly contacting the consultant in charge of Prudente's care and pressuring him with the words, "You know what to do."

They asserted that the amendment was proposed in reaction to Prudente's case and that it must ensure the safety of the mother's life while also protecting the unborn child against intentional and direct harm.