No women have been imprisoned for abortion-related crimes in the past 25 years, it has emerged. 

The information was supplied in parliament by Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri in reply to a question by Nationalist MP Edwin Vassallo. 

The issue was raised after independent MP Marlene Farrugia moved a bill in parliament proposing the decriminalisation of abortion.

Having an abortion or helping someone get an abortion remains a crime in Malta and is punishable by up to a three-year jail sentence.

Camilleri did not provide any additional information, including whether or not any suspended sentences had been given over the same period. 

In May, Times of Malta reported that no person has faced criminal charges for getting an abortion or providing the means to terminate a pregnancy in Malta in the last five years.

Between 2015 and 2020, the police investigated three people for alleged abortions, none of whom were arraigned.

Since the year 2000, only three women have been convicted of having an abortion. 

In 2006, a 23-year-old Maltese woman was sentenced to three years’ probation.
The other two sentences were in 2014. Then, a 30-year-old woman was given two years’ jail, suspended for four years, and a 28-year-old woman was sentenced to 18 months, suspended for two years.

It is estimated that some 400 Maltese women travel overseas to have an abortion and another 200 purchase abortion pills online every year.

While those in favour of the decriminalisation of abortion have said the law is not a deterrent, those again argue that the law is there to make a statement. 


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