What does Malta's law say about abortion?

What does Malta's law say about abortion?

Malta has a complete ban on abortion, with the law completely prohibiting abortion and criminalising the act of abortion for both the abortion provider and the woman seeking abortion. The law provides no exceptions, which means abortion in Malta is not allowed under any circumstances, not even in cases where the woman's health is at risk, when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, or in cases of fatal fetal anomaly.
The Criminal Code states:
Article 241 (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 eighteen months to three years.
Article 241 (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.’
Article 243 Any physician, surgeon, obstetrician, or apothecary, who shall have knowingly prescribed or administered the means whereby the miscarriage is procured, shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term from eighteen months to four years, and to perpetual interdiction from the exercise of his profession.’
Despite this law, prosecutions for abortion are rare, and no woman has gone to prison for having an abortion in the last 25 years at least.
Update: In July 2023, a new law was passed to allow abortions to happen in Malta when the pregnant woman has a complication that may lead to death. There are no other exceptions in the law.
    • Related Articles

    • Who can I speak to about abortion in Malta?

      In Malta it is extremely important to know who is who when it comes to seeking information or advice on options in pregnancy, including the option of abortion. This page summarises which services you should avoid, which services should be approached ...
    • Which abortion clinics accept women from Malta?

      The following is a list of clinics in England, the Netherlands, and Spain, that offer abortion services to women from Malta. These clinics work with Abortion Support Network if you need help paying for your abortion. Most of these clinics are located ...
    • Is abortion legal in Malta?

      Under most circumstances, no. Despite being an essential health service for women, abortion is illegal in Malta, except when a pregnant woman has a complication that may lead to death. However, it is legal for women in Malta to have abortions in ...
    • Are there abortion clinics in Malta?

      There are no legitimate abortion clinics in Malta so if you need a surgical abortion you will have to travel abroad. The usual destinations for women in Malta are England (UK) and the Netherlands. Italy has been popular in the past but keep in mind ...
    • How many women in Malta have an abortion?

      There are no official government issued statistics on abortion in Malta. Despite this lack of official data on such an important area of women's healthcare, it is estimated that the number of women who are ordinarily resident in Malta and have an ...