The lies about pro-life laws putting women’s lives at risk are being exposed in a court case in Malta this month.
The small European country protects unborn babies by banning elective abortions, and has one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world, according to the Times of Malta.
Last year, however, Malta became the target of international news outrage after an American woman who was visiting the country accused its doctors of putting her life at risk by refusing to abort her unborn baby when she suffered pregnancy complications. The woman, Andrea Prudente, a United States citizen, traveled to Spain for an abortion and later sued Malta for allegedly jeopardizing her life.
But doctors’ testimonies in her trial, which began last week, refute her claims, according to Malta Today.
“The patient had never been in danger of death,” Dr. Yves Muscat Baron, an OB-GYN and chair of the Maternity and Gynaecology Department at Mater Dei Hospital, testified Friday
What’s more, Muscat Baron and Dr. Alberto Vella both said her unborn baby had a decent chance of surviving.
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According to the report, Prudente was 16 weeks pregnant when her unborn baby’s amniotic sac ruptured, a condition known as Premature Pre-labour Rupture of Membranes, during her visit to Malta.
Muscat Baron said the doctors at Mater Dei Hospital provided the same treatment to Prudente that they have been providing to pregnant women “for the past 35-40 years, without incident.” He said they gave her antibiotics to prevent infection and monitored her and her unborn baby closely in the hospital, the report continues.
In some cases, he said the membranes re-seal, the amniotic fluid builds up again and the unborn baby survives. In Prudente’s case, the doctor said they performed an ultrasound the next day that showed her cervix had closed and her unborn baby was still alive. He said they also tested her white blood cell count and determined that she was not in danger of infection, according to the report.
However, it appears Prudente wanted an abortion anyway and had prominent abortion activists prepared to help her pressure the Maltese doctors to abort her unborn baby.
In his testimony, Muscat Baron said Professor Isabel Stabile, a prominent pro-abortion activist, contacted Dr. Vella about Prudente’s treatment and “told him that the patient was potentially in danger, and had told him that ‘you know what you should do.’”
Because Vella was “worried” about the conversation with Stabile, Muscat Baron said he met “with two other specialists to discuss the case and the file. We decided that the management was the same as we had been doing for the past 35-40 years, without incident.”
Muscat Baron said they agreed that Prudente’s life was not at risk. He said the risk of sepsis (a life-threatening infection of the blood) is only about 1 percent in cases like Prudente’s, and the mortality rate is about .1 percent.
He said there also was a chance that her baby would survive.
“In my experience, I encountered four similar cases in which the baby survived, both in the UK and here,” he continued. “One patient had ruptured membranes at 13 weeks. She took antibiotics and treatment… the baby lived, after life-saving surgery was performed.”
Here’s more from the report:
The judge asked the witness at what point the decision, if any, had been taken that the pregnancy had to be terminated. “At that time there was no indication for this to take place,” Muscat Baron said.
“And after?” asked the judge.
“I don’t know, because she went to Spain to have an abortion. She was responding well to antibiotics… The patient had never been in danger of death.”
Vella’s testimony also confirmed that Prudente did not need an abortion. He told the judge that they monitored her condition closely and reassured her they would “take action if things started to go bad.”
The report continues:
Vella recalled that Prudente was anxious, telling her he could not administer a pessary or other medication if there was a heartbeat. “That would be illegal. Besides, these were not necessary at that point in time.”
“But was she at a potential risk?” [her lawyer] pressed on.
“It was minimal. She was in hospital, if anything happened it would be treated there. It wouldn’t snowball,” [Vella answered.]
Prudente’s claims attracted international news attention and prompted a bill in Parliament to legalize abortions based on false claims that the national abortion ban puts women’s lives at risk.
This week, the pro-life organization Doctors for Life issued a statement urging MPs to consider the doctors’ expert testimonies before voting, the Malta Independent reports.
“… no mother in living memory has been lost in Malta as a result of complications from [Premature Pre-labour Rupture of Membranes],” Doctors for Life responded. “It should be noted that contrary to popular assertion, these doctors, acting in the best interests of both mother and child, were not holding back from terminating because they needed a law to protect them. They did not terminate because it was unnecessary and unethical to do so.”
The doctors said mothers’ and unborn babies’ lives both deserve to be protected under the law.
Abortion activists have been making similar false claims about abortion bans in the United States, but experts confirm that these laws allow doctors to provide life-saving treatment for pregnant mothers, including care for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies.