The Times of Malta reports that the group, Pro-Choice Malta, says their current laws are outdated and women should be able to have abortions, especially when a woman’s life is in danger. They explained, “Having an abortion is a tough decision but women should feel empowered and have the right to choose. It is a woman’s body that will be affected by the pregnancy. Abortion is a must-have to save the mother’s life if it is in danger, and this reality needs to be mirrored in current legislation.”
However, according to the Association of Pro-Life Physicians (APP), there are no maternal health risks that require abortion. For example, in ectopic pregnancies the removal of the fallopian tube will save the woman’s life and this is not the same as abortion.
The APP explains, “When the life of the mother is truly threatened by her pregnancy, if both lives cannot simultaneously be saved, then saving the mother’s life must be the primary aim. If through our careful treatment of the mother’s illness the pre-born patient inadvertently dies or is injured, this is tragic and, if unintentional, is not unethical and is consistent with the pro-life ethic. But the intentional killing of an unborn baby by abortion is never necessary.”
Additionally, in 2012, leading medical experts at a major International Symposium on Excellence in Maternal Healthcare held in Ireland concluded, “direct abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of a mother.” They specifically looked at cases of high-risk pregnancies, cancer in pregnancy, fetal anomalies and maternal mortality.
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It’s also important to note that according to a 2004 study by the Guttmacher Institute, only 4% of women who have abortions cite concern for their own health as the primary reason for seeking an abortion. Although there are definitely conditions and situations where maternal health is a concern, most women have abortions because of social, economic or personal issues.
The abortion group in Malta also claims that women are having dangerous illegal abortions. They said, “Maltese women do carry out abortions in other countries where abortion is allowed, such as the UK, so why shouldn’t we provide women with the chance to have a safe abortion in their own country? Illegal abortions put women’s lives in danger and women should have access to safe medical procedures in their own country, together with the help and support of their friends and family.”
Unfortunately, this argument for legalized abortion in countries like Malta is common even though the World Health Organization found that the maternal death rate in countries that ban abortion are within the world average.