Dear Decision Makers
A Story-Telling Campaign for the General Public and Healthcare Providers in Malta.

We often hear traumatic stories of women and girls in Malta who were unable to access safe abortions or had to overcome numerous obstacles to do so. While some manage to travel overseas to access these services, others order abortion pills online, all the while fearing the potential criminal repercussions of their actions. Yet, not everyone has these options at their disposal and some may resort to potentially dangerous methods.

The Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to an even more unbearable situation in Malta, due to travel restrictions, a rise in domestic violence, and a decrease in the availability of contraceptives. Despite the suffering of so many individuals as a result of the criminalisation and blanket ban on abortion, the stance of most politicians in Malta only serves to reinforce the stigma associated with the rights of women over their own health and body and discriminate disproportionately against the most vulnerable in our society. Consequently, many women continue to suffer, more often than not, alone and in silence.

What is this about?

The aim of this campaign, launched by Laura Paris and supported by Young Progressive Beings and Break the Taboo Malta, is to bring to light the extent of the damage caused by the criminalisation and complete ban on abortion in Malta.

We are providing a safe platform for women and other members of the general public to share their story and collectively express the harm, fear and unnecessary trauma that the current abortion laws have caused them. We also invite healthcare professionals to join this campaign and recount their experiences. Through these collective voices, we would like to convey to policymakers and the Maltese public that access to safe abortion is essential.

Is my story valid?

We are collecting personal stories from two particular groups of individuals:

(1) Individuals who feel like they have been affected or harmed in any way by Malta's blanket ban on abortion.

Examples can include:
- Having travelled abroad for a legal abortion
- Having attempted or conducted an abortion in Malta
- Remaining pregnant against your will
- Being unable to terminate a pregnancy where the fetus was not compatible with life
- Having your life put at risk medically because of the ban on abortion
- Remaining connected to an abuser because you could not access abortion services

(2) Healthcare professionals who feel that they were unable to provide their patients with optimal care, information or options.

What will happen to my story?

These personal stories will be automatically sent to the project lead where they will be categorised and published collectively to help generate debate and shed light on the negative impact of Malta’s blanket ban on abortion. 

This platform has been designed in such a way to ensure adequate protection and anonymity where desired.  

Please help us to highlight the significance of this matter, reduce stigma, and create an urgent call for action from our decision makers. No one should face barriers to reproductive healthcare. All stories are welcome. You are not alone.

Laura Paris
Emily Galea
Liza Caruana-Finkel
Alessandra Baldacchino

If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us on deardecisionmakers@gmail.com

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Kampajna ta’ Ġbir ta’ Stejjer mingħand il-Pubbliku u Professjonisti tas-Saħħa f’Malta

Ta’ spiss nisimgħu bi stejjer trawmatiċi ta’ nisa u bniet f’Malta li setgħux jaċċessaw abort b’mod sigur jew li kellhom jaffaċċjaw bosta ostakli biex jagħmlu dan. Waqt li wħud jirnexxilhom jivjaġġaw barra minn Malta biex jaċċessaw dawn is-servizzi, oħrajn jordnaw pilloli tal-abort minn fuq l-internet u jinkwetaw dwar il-potenzjal ta’ riperkussjonijiet kriminali ta’ dan l-att. Madankollu, mhux kulħadd għandu aċċess għal dawn l-għażliet, u hemm min jirrikorri għal metodi li huma potenzjalment perikolużi.

Il-pandemija tal-Covid-19 ikkontribuxxiet għal sitwazzjoni iktar insupportabbli f’Malta, minħabba r-ristrizzjonijiet fuq l-ivjaġġar, żieda fil-vjolenza domestika, u n-nuqqas ta’ kontraċettivi disponibbli. Minkejja t-tbatija ta’ ħafna individwi minħabba l-kriminalizzazzjoni u l-projbizzjoni tal-abort, il-pożizzjoni tal-maġġoranza tal-politiċi f’Malta isservi biss sabiex tirrinforza l-istigma li hi assoċjata mad-drittijiet tan-nisa fuq saħħithom u ġisimhom, u tiddiskrimina l-iktar kontra dawk vulnerabbli fis-soċjetà. Konsegwentament, ħafna nisa jkomplu jsofru weħidhom u fis-silenzju.

X’inhu dan il-proġett?

L-għan ta’ din il-kampanja, b’kollaborazzjoni ma’ Break the Taboo Malta u Young Progressive Beings, huwa li nenfasizzaw il-ħsara enormi kkawżata minn projbizzjoni sħiħa fuq l-abort f’Malta.

Aħna qegħdin nipprovdu pjattaforma sigura għal nisa u membri oħra tal-pubbliku biex jibgħatulna l-istorja tagħhom, sabiex b’mod kollettiv jispjegaw il-ħsara u t-trawma li l-liġijiet kurrenti tal-abort ikkawżawlhom. Aħna nistiednu wkoll lil professjonisti fil-kura tas-saħħa sabiex jingħaqdu f’din il-kampanja. Permezz tal-ilħna kollettivi tagħkom nixtiequ nuru lill-pubbliku Malti kif ukoll lill-‘policymakers’ li aċċess għal abort sigur huwa essenzjali.
L-istorja tiegħi hija valida?

Aħna qegħdin niġbru stejjer personali mingħand żewġ gruppi partikolari ta’ individwi:

(1) Individwi li jħossu li l-projbizzjoni tal-abort f’Malta affettwathom negattivament u/jew għamlitilhom il-ħsara.
Eżempji jinkludu:

- Kellek bżonn issiefer barra minn Malta għal abort legali
- Pruvajt jew irnexxielek tittermina t-tqala tiegħek f’Malta
- Komplejt bit-tqala kontra r-rieda tiegħek
- Ma stajtx tittermina t-tqala tiegħek avolja l-fetu ma’ kienx kumpatibbli mal-ħajja
- Ħajtek tpoġġiet f’riskju mediku minħabba l-projbizzjoni tal-abort
- Bqajt b’konnessjoni mal-agressur tiegħek għaliex ma stajtx taċċessa l-abort

(2) Professjonisti tal-kura tas-saħħa li jħossu li ma setgħux jipprovdu l-aqwa kura, informazzjoni, jew għażliet lill-pazzjenti tagħhom

X’ser jiġri mill-istorja tiegħi?

Dawn l-istejjer personali ser jintbagħtu awtomatikament lit-tim ta’ Dear Decision Makers sabiex jiġu kkategorizzati u mbagħad ippubblikati b’mod kollettiv, sabiex niġġeneraw dibattitu u nilluminaw l-impatt negattiv tal-projbizzjoni totali tal-abort f’Malta.

Din il-pjattaforma hija ddiżinjata b’tali mod li tassigura protezzjoni adekwata u anonimità fejn mixtieqa.
Jekk jogħġbok għinna nenfasizzaw is-sinifikat ta’ dan kollu, innaqqsu l-istigma, u nikreaw sejħa urġenti għal azzjoni mingħand ‘policymakers’. Ħadd m’għandu jaffaċja ostaklu għall-kura tas-saħħa riproduttiva. Aħna nistiednu u naċċettaw l-istejjer kollha. Mintix waħdek.

Laura Paris, Project Lead
Emily Galea
Alessandra Baldacchino
Liza Caruana-Finkel

Jekk trid iktar informazzjoni, jekk jogħġbok ikkuntattjana fuq deardecisionmakers@gmail.com
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