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There are certain facts about abortion and you should be aware of them no matter what your spiritual or political views. Many women have an abortion without discussing the procedure with anyone. Before undergoing the procedure, become educated about the facts:

1. What is Abortion?

Abortion is a procedure that terminates a pregnancy by removing the growing fetus and placenta from the mother’s womb.

2. How does an abortion take place?

An abortion takes place surgically, with the use of surgical instruments (this is called a surgical abortion) or medically, with pills (this is called a medical abortion).

In a surgical abortion, the fetus is removed with surgical instruments. Depending on the stage of development of the fetus the surgical abortion will be:

  • Aspiration – First Trimester (from 5-14 weeks)
  • Dilation & Evacuation (D&E) – Second Trimester (from 15-23 weeks)
  • Labour Induction – Second and Third Trimester.

All surgical abortions are carried out in an abortion centre by a licensed medical practitioner.

In a medical abortion, with abortion pills, two specific tablets are prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner and requires three visits to the doctor or clinic. Abortion pills are now being distributed more widely and so women undergo the abortion alone at home. This normally takes place till 10 weeks of development (the first trimester).

3. What are the main pros and cons of abortion?

There are two sides of the abortion debate.

Those favouring an abortion argue it helps a pregnant woman who is facing a pregnancy she no longer wishes to continue with by removing the current difficulty she is facing.

Those opposed to abortion argue it is fundamentally wrong to wilfully end a life, even in an early stage of human development. They further point to concerns that abortion causes more problems than it solves, as it can lead to increased mental health strains and side-effects on the woman afterwards.

4. How will abortion affect me?

Having an abortion may affect you physically and you may have some cramping, bleeding or abdominal pain. There may be some other side-effects or complications as with other medical procedures. It can impair a woman’s ability to get pregnant and have children in the future. Some report emotional and psychological impacts and many report problems in their relationships, substance abuse or eating disorders.

5. Why do most women seek an abortion?

Most women seek an abortion because their contraception fails. They say that they need an abortion due to social or economic reasons. Often, they do not feel ready to have a baby or do not have the finances to bring up a child. Others say that they will not be accepted by their family or partner.

Many women (although a minority) have an abortion owing to coercion from a partner or third-party. In Norway, 25 percent of women having abortions said that ‘pressure from a male partner’ was a factor.

6. How developed is the fetus inside me?

At 10 weeks, an unborn baby looks like the video in this section.

At 10 weeks, an unborn baby has:

  • a heartbeat
  • arms & legs
  • fingers & toes
  • all his/ her bodily organs
  • eyes
  • nose
  • ears
  • and a smile

Know more - click here

7. What happens if I change my mind?

It is possible to obtain an abortion pill reversal (for those who have taken the first medical abortion pill). This can only work if done in time, before taking the second pill. The procedure has been found to be safe.

There are doctors in Malta who now offer this service. Contact Heart Beat International on or or call LifeLine at 2033 0023 or visit their website


8. Are there alternatives to abortion?

The most obvious alternative is to continue with the pregnancy, and subsequently raise the child or place him/her for adoption. Financial and social assistance is available for parents and families. Services from the government and voluntary organisations provide support and care and can be availed of.

You can access one website here:

9. Can I get help after an abortion?

Yes. Courses and counselling are offered for anyone who has had an abortion. The organisation ‘Save One’ provides resources and helps with the healing process. This is all done confidentially.

10. What is the law in Malta?

Abortion is prohibited in Malta. However, the mother’s life is always protected, even if it means that the fetus will be lost.

In addition, abortion pills are now being distributed more widely and some organisations have encouraged women to travel abroad for a surgical abortion.

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