A WOMAN has warned she could face a painful death after doctors in Malta refused to grant her a potentially life-saving abortion – despite the couple having ‘lost’ their unborn daughter.
Andrea Prudente, who was 16 weeks pregnant, and her partner Jay Weeldreyer were on holiday to celebrate their ‘babymoon’ and the future arrival of their baby daughter when Andrea prematurely ruptured her waters.
But because of Malta’s staunchly pro-life stance on layoffs, Prudente now fears she could lose her life.
The southern Mediterranean island has one of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the world – banning the procedure in all cases.
Prudente, from Seattle, USA, attended the emergency room in Gozo and was later admitted to the only government health center, Mater Dei Hospital, after suffering an apparent miscarriage that resulted in severe vaginal bleeding and subsequent rupture of membranes.
An ultrasound showed ruptured membranes (ruptured blisters) and a detaching placenta.
However, the fetus still has a heartbeat, said Doctors for Choice Malta, a non-profit organization of pro-choice doctors.
International obstetric guidelines state that in cases where the fetus is not yet viable (before 24 weeks), termination of pregnancy (abortion) should be offered to avoid the risk of maternal infection, sepsis and death.
The infection can travel through the ruptured membranes into the uterus and then into the blood, causing death.
“The patient requested an abortion, but her request was denied.
“She has been told that doctors can only intervene if she dies immediately – not even an infection is enough,” the NGO said in a statement.
“She was also told that doctors can’t even discuss the possibility of an abortion with her.”
Malta is the only country in the European Union to completely ban abortion.
Under the country’s laws, people found to have aborted a child or “cause a miscarriage” can face up to three years in prison.
This also applies to pregnant women and healthcare professionals.
The young woman, 38, said: “I’m stuck in Malta fighting for my life.”
“Malta’s barbaric abortion laws prevent doctors from giving me the treatment I need to terminate a non-viable pregnancy that is threatening my life.
“Every day that passes increases the risk of a deadly infection.”
In a Facebook post, Prudente added: “As you can imagine, I would prefer this trauma to remain a private matter, but I am desperate. I don’t want to die here.”
Doctors For Choice said Thursday Prudente is now “forced to watch and wait” at Mater Dei, putting her life at risk.
“We have a choice between a slow death by infection staying in Malta or getting on a plane and a quick death by bleeding to death,” partner Weeldreyer told Euronews.
“The family is rightly distraught and desperate for a solution. A medical evacuation to the UK is planned but may not arrive in time,” the organization warned.
Your attorney, Dr. Lara Dimitrijevic, told Euronews that Prudente is to be evacuated to an undisclosed location in Spain.
“Fortunately we have travel insurance and we hope it will cover the full cost of hospital care and ambulance,” the traumatized woman said in a post on Facebook.
The pro-choice collective hopes common sense will prevail before “it’s too late.”
Unfortunately, Prudent is not an isolated case.
Marion Mifsud Mora’s waters ruptured at 17 weeks pregnant and she was fighting for her life in September 2014 due to Malta’s strict abortion laws.
The French woman, who was also on holiday in Malta with her family and daughter Mdina, was admitted to the Mater Dei when she began suffering from an infection and fever.
“Even though she knew her baby had no hope, doctors couldn’t seem to help her due to archaic anti-abortion laws,” said Women For Women Malta, an NGO that empowers women through emergency relief, educational support and mentoring.
Doctors had no choice but to refuse Mifsud Mora’s request for an abortion.
“They couldn’t help her recover because her baby still had a ‘weak heartbeat’.
Marion’s situation continued to deteriorate and she had to be evacuated from Mater Dei Hospital by her travel insurance company.”
The young mother was flown to a private hospital in Paris on a medical jet.
Mifsud Mora, who has since recovered, said she still cannot understand why in Malta “giving birth to a dead fetus is more important than saving the mother with the right medical care”.
Doctors for Choice has warned that many Maltese women find themselves in similar situations but are afraid to speak up.
“That’s not right. Women have beating hearts too!”
Mater Dei Hospital and the Maltese government are yet to comment on the case.
Malta is a country of just under 450,000 people and typically welcomes 1.1 million tourists each year.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/5626043/woman-risk-life-doctors-refused-abortion-malta/ I could die a slow, painful death on vacation in Malta thanks to cruel abortion law, says US tourist