The Malta Independent 30 March 2023, Thursday
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Doctors for Life urge MPs to take into account court testimony in Prudente case before debating bill

Tuesday, 10 January 2023, 13:02 Last update: about 4 months ago

Doctors for Life has urged parliamentarians to take into account what was said in court testimony during the Andrea Prudente case, when the amendment to the abortion law is discussed in the coming days.

Prudente had filed a court case against the Maltese state over Mater Dei Hospital's refusal to terminate her 16 week-old pregnancy during a stay in Malta. An Obstetrician and gynaecologist who chairs the Maternity and Gynaecology Department at Mater Dei Hospital recently testified that the patient had never been in danger of death.


"Following the sworn testimony of the obstetricians who were taking care of Andrea Prudente," Doctors For Life said, "in the absence of a statement by the Health Ministry to clarify the medical facts at the time, the pro-abortion lobby was allowed to spin this case to suit their agenda."

"Prudente's life was never at risk because she had developed none of the potential complications associated with Premature Pre-labour Rupture of Membranes (PPROM) before viability ('waters breaking' before 24 weeks of pregnancy). This was evidenced by the results of her blood tests and normal vital signs like body temperature. She was being managed by a team of experienced obstetricians who all agreed on her management plan," Doctors for Life said.

"Prudente was promptly given preventive intravenous antibiotics and was being closely monitored for any signs of infection or other complications as is normal practice in such circumstances. Ms. Prudente's baby left Malta alive, and the most recent study on the subject suggests that such babies may have a nearly 80% chance of survival in such circumstances. These are hardly negligible odds, and therefore it is not surprising that the caring obstetricians did not automatically consider terminating the pregnancy in such a case," Doctors For Life said.

"Despite these facts, the pro-abortion lobby had no reservations with feeding the media a concoction of conjecture and fear-mongering in the hope that this might mobilise the public and politicians to answer their repeated calls for the introduction of abortion. Prof. Stabile, one of the leading abortion lobbyists, went one step further than advocacy when she had the audacity to attempt to influence the management of the caring consultant by allegedly contacting him personally and pressuring him with the words - 'You know what to do'," Doctors for Life said.

Prudente's consultant clearly stated that if any risks had arisen, they would have been dealt with, the NGO said. "Again, we were not surprised to hear this affirmation, for no mother in living memory has been lost in Malta as a result of complications from PPROM. It should be noted that contrary to popular assertion, these doctors, acting in the best interests of both mother and child, were not holding back from terminating because they needed a law to protect them. They did not terminate because it was unnecessary and unethical to do so. If anything, the only medico-legal pressure came from the pro-abortion lobby, the misinformation in the media and the fact that the Health Department said absolutely nothing to protect them."

"We commend their courage to act according to their best clinical and ethical judgement in such circumstances. We trust that parliamentarians will take into account what was revealed in Court last Friday, when the amendment to the abortion law is discussed in the coming days. We must not forget that this amendment was proposed in reaction to Ms. Prudente's case as it was being misrepresented in the media at the time. The foetus is a living human being worthy of the continued protection of our Law. The new amendment must ensure the safety of the mother's life but it must also protect the unborn child against intentional and direct harm. We trust that MPs will do the right thing and ensure that the new amendment gives peace of mind to all involved," Doctors for Life said.


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