A new doctors' group has been set up, saying it would advocate for safe, accessible, comprehensive, evidence-based reproductive healthcare in Malta, including safe access to abortion,

In a statement, Doctors for Choice Malta, a group of anonymous "independent medical professionals", said women continued to be denied true autonomy over their bodies.

Malta has the strictest anti-abortion laws in the world, making it a criminal offence for any woman seeking access to it.

"They are deprived of their right to seek safe, high quality healthcare. Women who require abortion services do so because of unique, and often complex, medical, psychological or social reasons. Malta's present legislation results in a violation of human rights and denial of patients’ right to safe health services. This ultimately leads to poorer health outcomes."

They said that like all reputable international health organisations, which include the World Health Organisation, the Royal Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Federation of International Gynaecologists and Obstetricians, they believed that safe access to abortion was a healthcare issue.

Criminalisation of abortion made it "dangerous" for women who needed this health service.

"We have established Doctors for Choice Malta to support women’s right to easily access comprehensive, reproductive health services. They should be able to make a fully informed choice on their pregnancy, including the option to choose safe abortion in a controlled, empathetic environment. Women should have the final decision without any interference," they said.

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