Information on how to get a safe abortion from Malta
Despite being considered essential healthcare around the world, abortion remains illegal in Malta in all circumstances due to a centuries-old abortion law that is still in force. The criminalisation of abortion means that many healthcare professionals in Malta will refuse to discuss termination of pregnancy options with their patients. Women have also reported negative experiences when they requested an abortion with certain Maltese gynaecologists. However, this does not stop hundreds of women in Malta from having abortions each year.
If you have an unwanted pregnancy, please know that you are not alone. Many women in Malta have been in your situation, and have managed to obtain a safe abortion with help from organisations and services mentioned below.
To get an abortion, women in Malta have to either travel to abortion clinics abroad, sometimes with the help of Abortion Support Network, or self-manage their abortion by ordering abortion pills online from reputable providers. Self-managed abortions using pills at home have become the most common method of abortion in most countries, including Malta.
When choosing between an abortion with pills at home and an abortion in a clinic abroad, keep the following in mind:
Carrying out your own abortion in Malta is illegal, although we are not aware of any woman being taken to court for ending her own pregnancy in recent years. By travelling abroad and having an abortion in a country where it is legal you will not be breaching any law, because there is nothing in Maltese law that criminalises abortions done abroad. When you are abroad the abortion law in that country will apply.
An abortion with pills can be carried out safely at home at any time up until 12 weeks of pregnancy. A surgical abortion is carried out from 8 weeks onward, up until the legal limit of abortion in that country (eg: the limit in the UK is 24 weeks in most cases, in the Netherlands it is 22-23 weeks).
An abortion with pills will usually cost you less than Euro 100, whereas prices for a surgical abortion start from Euro 800 in clinic fees alone. The fees for a surgical abortion increase the more advanced the pregnancy is. It is generally cheaper and more straightforward to have an abortion in the early stages of pregnancy, especially in the first 12 weeks when you can have an abortion with pills.
The complication rates of abortion with pills and surgical abortion are both low and similar in frequency. If you experience complications after using abortion pills in Malta, you can seek help from hospital by declaring that you are having a miscarriage. There is no test that can tell the difference between an abortion with pills and a natural miscarriage.
The following are pro-choice organisations and services that can provide more information on how to get an abortion from Malta, or provide abortion services to women in Malta:
Do you want to speak to someone who is pro-choice?
The Family Planning Advisory Service (FPAS) is a free service provided by pro-choice Maltese NGOs and trusted pro-choice volunteers, and they provide unbiased and reliable information on pregnancy options including abortion. Click here for information on how to contact them for free. You can call them on 20341686 or chat with them online at www.fpas.mt.
FPAS is a strictly confidential service and it will not pass on your details to anyone, unless you agree to it.
Do you want to manage your own abortion at home with pills?
Women on Web and Women Help Women are organisations with a good reputation of sending authentic abortion pills to women in countries where abortion is restricted, including Malta. It is easy to order pills online from these organisations - you complete an online consultation on their website, pay a donation, and the abortion pills are shipped to your address. These organisations have medical professionals who can advise you before and during an abortion with pills.
The main differences between Women on Web and Women Help Women are:
The donation amount is EUR 100 for Women on Web and EUR 75 for Women Help Women.
Delivery times are 1-2 weeks for Women on Web and just over 2 weeks for Women Help Women.
Women on Web provide tracking numbers for their packages, but Women Help Women do not.
According to World Health Organisation guidance, abortion pills can be safely used by the woman herself at home up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. An abortion pill pack will have two types of medication - Mifepristone and Misoprostol. Mifepristone is taken first, usually at a dose of 200mg. This medication can be swallowed with water or kept under the tongue for 30 minutes, and it prepares the body for an abortion. Misoprostol is taken a day later, usually at a dose of 800mcg. This medication can be placed under the tongue for 30 minutes or inserted into the vagina, and it causes the uterus to remove the pregnancy. Bleeding starts a few minutes to a few hours after Misoprostol.
Do you want to travel to an abortion clinic abroad, but need guidance and/or financial assistance?
Abortion Support Network (ASN) is a UK charity that assists women in Malta who would like to have an abortion in a clinic abroad. They can you find appropriate clinics that can provide an abortion at your stage of pregnancy, and can help you book flights or accommodation. They can even pay for part of your abortion travel and clinic costs if you cannot afford them.
You can call ASN on 27780991. If they do not answer your call, leave a voice message and they will call you back.
Do you want to contact an abortion clinic directly and make your own private arrangements?
You can find a list of overseas abortion clinics in Europe that accept women from Malta and work with Abortion Support Network here. You can also find a more complete list of European abortion clinics on abortion-clinics.eu.
If you can pay privately for your abortion, you can contact a clinic directly and book an appointment. Indicative prices can be found here.
When you contact an abortion clinic make sure you:
Ask about waiting times and appointment availability
Ask whether they can provide the treatment you need at your stage of pregnancy
Ask about the cost of treatment for overseas (private) clients
Ask about counselling options, if you need it
If you need financial assistance, contact Abortion Support Network on 27780991.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about abortion in Malta and abroad
Is abortion a safe procedure?
What is a medical abortion and how is it performed?
When do most abortions occur?
What is a fatal foetal anomaly and what are my options?
Does a foetus feel pain during an abortion?
What does the law in Malta say about abortion?
In Malta, abortion is banned under all circumstances. The Criminal Code of Malta states the following:
Can someone be prosecuted in Malta if they have an abortion abroad?
Can I be charged if I give information about abortion care services abroad?
Can a pregnant person be stopped from leaving Malta to terminate their pregnancy?
Is it true that women who have abortions always regret it, or develop a mental illness?
What is the cost for a woman travelling abroad for an abortion?
How many Maltese women have abortions?
Nobody knows the exact number, because the illegal status of abortion means that there are no official statistics on abortions in Malta.
Only the UK officially documents abortions from Malta, averaging 60 per year. We know through abortion pill providers that the number of women accessing the abortion pill online are increasing sharply, especially since 2020 when travel restrictions were implemented.
How can I get help if I want an abortion?
I have taken abortion pills and I need medical help. What can I do?
Most (more than 90%) of women who use abortion pills in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy will not need any medical assistance, and can manage their own miscarriage at home.
What is a surgical abortion and how is it performed?
A medical abortion, as explained above, involves taking medications that cause a miscarriage, and the body then expels the pregnancy just like it does when a natural miscarriage happens.