Abortion in Malta

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The de jure legal status of abortion in Malta holds that the practice is illegal. Malta is the only country in the European Union to prohibit abortion entirely.[1] However, as with other European nations, de facto procedures differ from the exact letter of the law.

The Criminal Code states:

“(1) Whosoever, by any food, drink, medicine, or by violence, or by any other means whatsoever, shall cause the miscarriage of any woman with child, whether the woman be consenting or not, shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term from 18 months to three years;” and

“(2) The same punishment shall be awarded against any woman who shall procure her own miscarriage, or who shall have consented to the use of the means by which the miscarriage is procured.”

If a woman's life is threatened by a pregnancy, abortive procedures have been performed within Maltese territory without repercussions. Such has also occurred in cases of incest and rape. In a recent case, for example, the police department were notified by officials at Mater Dei Hospital that a gynecologist and university professor had performed a chemical abortion to prevent the mother suffering a cancer relapse, which the hormonal changes common to a pregnancy were sure to cause. No action was taken on behalf of the police department, which retain the jurisdiction to press charges for criminal offences as they see fit.


  1. ^ "Malta now only EU country without life-saving abortion law". Malta Independent. Retrieved 6 September 2014.