(Adds Life Network Foundation's reaction)

A newly set up organisation, Pro-Choice Malta, is calling on lawmakers to review abortion legislation and reconsider the impact the ban on abortion in Malta is having on women, their health, and physical and mental safety.

The voluntary organisation is made up of individuals who believe that the current situation in Malta regarding women's access to abortion is severely outdated and that it is time to open up the debate.

It is not known who the individuals forming this association are. No contact details were provided in the statement, except for a link to the organisation's Facebook page, which also does not highlight who is behind the association.

The organisation said in its statement that 42 of 44 countries in Europe allowed abortion to save a woman's life.

In Malta, there was a complete ban on any kind of abortion, and it was the only EU country without a life-saving abortion law.

"As Pro-Choice Malta, we are calling for our lawmakers to review this legislation and re-consider the impact that this ban is having on the lives of women, on their health, and physical and mental safety.

"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.

"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," the organisation said.

It pointed out that a pregnancy could have both mental and physical risks, especially if the woman was raped or had a certain medical history, which might affect her health during the pregnancy.

"bortion 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."

Pro-Choice Malta also called for more education on contraceptives in schools to avoid unwanted pregnancies and for women to have access to the Morning After pill, which, to date, was also illegal to purchase in Malta.

In a reply, Life Network said: “without entering into any controversies of a civil, political or religious nature, any person who is embedded with right reason, the reason which is written in the hearts of man, and who believes in the intrinsic and basic value of life, knows that life starts at natural conception and ends with natural death."

The foundation was set up last year to promote and protect life.

"We invite you to celebrate life, not the culture of death which is currently being proposed," it said.

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