Abortion charity expands service to women in Malta

Maltese women can now seek funded consultation and travel for safe abortion in UK, Netherlands or Spain

pro-choice supporter in Belfast, Northern Ireland, carries a placard which reads 'Abortion is healthcare, it should be free, legal and safe'
pro-choice supporter in Belfast, Northern Ireland, carries a placard which reads 'Abortion is healthcare, it should be free, legal and safe'

A UK charity that provides financial assistance to women from countries with restrictive abortion laws, has announced that it has launched its service to residents in Malta and Gibraltar.

Abortion Support Network (ASN), said anyone in these countries will be able to ring the ASN helpline, visit the ASN website or send an email and receive confidential, non-judgmental information about the least expensive way to arrange abortion and travel, clinics that ASN works with in several EU countries, and, where necessary, receive financial help towards the cost of travelling from your home country and paying privately to access a safe, legal abortion. 

Malta is the only country in Europe where abortion is completely against the law, whereas the law in Gibraltar, a British overseas dependency, allows abortion to save a woman’s life.

The services will include information on the least expensive method of abortion and travel, to England, The Netherlands, or Spain; ASN funded, confidential telephone medical consultation or pregnancy options counselling session provided by leading UK abortion provider, British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) in the UK; financial help towards the cost of travel and abortion services (after a financial assessment); overnight accommodation in volunteer homes where possible, and information about and funding towards paid accommodation near clinics when necessary; and information on the reputable online providers of safe but illegal early medical abortion pills.

“This Valentine’s Day, ASN is thrilled to spread the abortion-fund love to those living in Malta and Gibraltar,” ASN’s founder Mara Clarke said.

“We have been providing our services to Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man for almost 10 years and have an excellent network of donors, volunteers and supporters who believe that ‘I can’t afford an abortion’ should never be the only reason someone becomes a parent.”

Clarke said making abortion against the law never stops abortion. “It makes abortion inconvenient for those with financial and other supports, and catastrophic for those who are marginalized, at risk, or poor. It means that when faced with an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, women with money have options and women without money have babies – or do desperate or dangerous things to try and self-abort.”

Lara Dimitrijevic, director of the Women’s Rights Foundation said her organization welcomed ASN for their decision to extend their services and support to women in Malta.

“These services will alleviate to a great extent the discriminatory and cruel situation women in Malta are forced to live in. By abrogating itself from its duties and responsibilities, the state forces women to find their own way to acquire health and support they need.

“This initiative is another way of women supporting women as women have always done and will continue to do. Needless to say, Women’s Rights Foundation will do everything in its power to help and assist women in Malta in accessing the service and support provided by ASN.”