The Malta Independent 3 February 2023, Friday
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Jason Azzopardi alleges that Prudente was purposely ‘brought to Malta’ to raise abortion controversy

Albert Galea Wednesday, 30 November 2022, 13:26 Last update: about 3 months ago

Former Nationalist Party MP Jason Azzopardi has alleged that the American woman who faced pregnancy complications in Malta and was denied an abortion was purposely brought to Malta in order to create controversy over the termination of pregnancies.

Azzopardi made the accusation on his Facebook page on Wednesday, as Parliament discusses proposed legal amendments which would allow doctors to carry out an abortion if the prospective mother’s health is in serious danger.

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“You really need to be trash (but I was told I cannot use this word) to conspire with people abroad so a pregnant woman can be brought to Malta in order for a controversy to be raised over pregnancy termination because she faked being in danger,” Azzopardi said.

“This is not hypothetical, this is not a theory.  This is an objective and factual truth,” he continued.

Azzopardi was referring to the case of American woman Andrea Prudente, who was on holiday in Malta when she was 16-weeks pregnant and developed complications in her pregnancy.

Doctors at Mater Dei Hospital had told her that her pregnancy was no longer viable but would not terminate it because the foetus still had a heartbeat.  She was not in imminent danger of dying, but risked an infection which could have proven fatal.

She was eventually flown to Spain where her pregnancy was terminated.

She has since sued the Maltese government over the treatment she received while in Malta, with the State Advocate arguing though that her life was not in danger at any point.

The case however prompted the government to revisit Malta’s abortion laws – which are among the strictest in the world – and come up with a legal amendment which would allow doctors to act in cases where the health of the prospective woman is at grave risk.

As things stand, doctors may face criminal prosecution if they step in to terminate a pregnancy when the mother’s health is in serious danger – even though stepping in where necessary has been the common practice followed over the years.

The PN however has argued that the law is introducing abortion in the country by stealth, particularly due to the inclusion of issues relating to mental health besides physical health as an instance where an abortion can be granted.

The party has backed a position paper issued by just over 80 academics which reword the legal amendments to remove the mental health aspect.

In a separate post to where he made his claims, former PN MP Azzopardi – who was voted out of Parliament in the last general election and has since resigned from the party – meanwhile called for an abrogative referendum on the law, saying that it’s the law which should be killed, not the baby.

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