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Abortion policy

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Grounds on which abortion is permitted:
To save the life of the woman No

To preserve physical health No

To preserve mental health No

Rape or incest No

Foetal impairment No

Economic or social reasons No

Available on request No
Additional requirements:
Information is not readily available.


Government view on fertility level: Satisfactory

Government intervention concerning fertility level: No intervention
Government policy on contraceptive use: Indirect support provided
Percentage of currently married women using

modern contraception (aged 15-49): ..

Total fertility rate (1995-2000): 1.9
Age-specific fertility rate (per 1,000 women aged 15-19, 1995-2000): 12
Government has expressed particular concern about:

Morbidity and mortality resulting from induced abortion No

Complications of childbearing and childbirth No
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births, 1990):

National ..

Developed countries 27
Female life expectancy at birth (1995-2000): 79.3


Under the Criminal Code of Malta (Chapter 9 of the Laws of Malta), abortion is prohibited in all circumstances. The person performing the abortion is subject to 18 months’ to three years’ imprisonment, as is a woman who performs an abortion on herself or consents to its performance. A physician, surgeon, obstetrician, or apothecary who performs an abortion is subject to 18 months’ to four years’ imprisonment and lifelong prohibition from exercising his or her profession.

It is unclear whether an abortion could be legally performed in Malta to save the life of a pregnant woman under general criminal law principles of necessity. Specific provisions allowing an abortion to be performed for this purpose were removed from the Code in 1981.
Family planning has been gaining increased acceptance in Malta over the years. Under the Press Law of 1974, the ban on the advertisement of contraceptives was lifted. In the following year, the prohibition of the importation of contraceptives was repealed. The Government provides indirect support for family planning activities.

Source: The Population Policy Data Bank maintained by the Population Division of the Department for Economic and Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. For additional sources, see list of references.

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