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Friday, March 31, 2023

Woman who miscarried while traveling to Malta cannot have an abortion

ROME ( Associated Press) — An American pregnant woman who suffered an incomplete miscarriage while on holiday in Malta will be airlifted to the Spanish island on Thursday for a procedure to prevent infection, as Maltese law prohibits abortion under any circumstances, the woman’s partner said.

Jay Wildreyer told The Associated Press by phone from a hospital in the island nation that his partner, Andrea Prudente, is at risk of contracting a life-threatening infection if the fetal tissue is not removed in a timely manner.

Prudente, 38, bled heavily on June 12, followed by a premature rupture of the amniotic sac and separation of the placenta, according to Wildreyer, 45. surgery to end the miscarriage, he said.

Malta is the only European Union country where abortion is prohibited for any reason.

Contacting the Associated Press, Mater Dei Hospital, where Prudente is being treated, said it was not allowed to release patient information due to privacy rules.

“The miscarriage is 80% complete,” Wildryer said. “Her waters broke, the placenta separated, but because of the (fetal) heartbeat, the fetus cannot be removed,” he said.

In separate comments to other news outlets, the couple described the placenta as partly detached.

The couple from Issaquah, Washington, a town near Seattle, arrived in Malta on June 5 for a long-awaited vacation. According to her partner, Prudente began to bleed and was hospitalized a week later. He indicated that she was 16 weeks pregnant when the bleeding began.

In addition to worrying about the risk of infection, the two fear that Prudente could start bleeding again during the medical evacuation flight they arranged Thursday night to take them to Mallorca.

Like Malta, Mallorca is an island in the Mediterranean. The couple originally planned a medical evacuation to the UK but were told it was too risky to fly long distances.

According to their plans, an ambulance will take Prudente to Malta airport. After the flight arrives in Mallorca, another ambulance will take her to the hospital, who told the couple they could give her the care she needed.

According to Spanish law, abortion is allowed on request until the 14th week of pregnancy and until the 22nd week, when the woman’s life or health is in danger.

The Mater Dei Hospital in Malta “did a good job within the limits of what they are allowed to do” under the law of that country, Weeldrier said. His partner is receiving antibiotics and is being closely monitored for signs of infection, he said.

Last week, the Women’s Rights Foundation in Malta filed a legal challenge in court demanding the legalization of abortion in the tiny island nation.

Lawyer Lara Dimitrievich, an activist for the foundation, said abortion rights advocates in Malta are closely monitoring the situation in the United States. Some states have passed laws severely restricting or prohibiting abortion, which could be initiated if the US Supreme Court overturns the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which recognized a person’s right to choose an abortion.

“We (in Malta) can’t get any worse, as we have a complete ban, but we are starting to see situations like in Poland and now in America, where there is a repeal of laws, deprivation of women of their own bodily autonomy. , it’s heartbreaking,” Dimitrievich said in a telephone interview.

Poland, like Malta, a traditionally Catholic country, tightened its abortion law in 2020.

The lawyer described the Washington State couple as “very brave to go public with this.” Since their case was published in the Maltese media, “more women began to talk about their experience or the experience of family members.”

Dimitrijevic added that two to three times a year in Malta, women find themselves in similar life-threatening situations before the fetus becomes viable.

On Wednesday, Malta’s anti-abortion group Doctors for Life issued a statement on the Prudente case, saying it “strongly believes that a mother’s life is always in need of protection.”

It states that in such cases, “a thorough evaluation of the severity of the condition is carried out” and that in the event of severe bleeding or infection, “the uterus is always evacuated” after consultation with two experts.

If childbirth is deemed necessary, “then it is done even if the fetus is too young to survive outside the uterus,” the organization said, defending Malta’s abortion policy.

Earlier this year, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights said Malta’s total ban on abortion puts women’s rights at “significant risk” and called on the country’s authorities to repeal provisions that make abortion a crime.

Barry Hutton contributed from Lisbon, Portugal.

World Nation News Desk
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