An American tourist arrived in Malta pregnant with 16 weeks risking his life because of a miscarriage, which the doctors of the Mater Dei polyclinic cannot put an end to because the fetus’s heart is still beating. Malta – a strongly Catholic country – is thesingle state of the EU in which thetermination of pregnancy is prohibited in any case: doctors risk 4 years in prison if they practice it. In the case of the American patient, the waters had been there for a few hours and according to the doctors themselves there was no chance of the child’s survival. The woman, Andrea Prudente, is in danger of dying of septicemia and now it will be transferred to Spain.
Interviewed by Bbc before the transfer was released, the woman’s husband, Jay Weeldreyer, he explained that “we are here with the idea that if the pains come, the doctors will start moving, if the heartbeat stops, they will help, otherwise they will do nothing. The child cannot survive – he added – we wanted him, we loved him, we would like him to survive but he cannot. And this hospital is prolonging the risks for Andrea ”, who, she pointed out,“ is being held hostage. We came to Malta for a ‘babymoon’. We certainly didn’t come to have an abortion, but we’re talking about here save a woman’s life“. The couple’s insurance agreed to cover the costs of the trip and ambulance transfer.
The couple had arrived in Malta a few days ago when the woman had a first hemorrhage. A check-up in the hospital had reassured the child’s life. A couple of days later, however, the waters opened and an ultrasound showed that the placenta had partially detached from the uterus, but the fetus’s heart was still beating. Sent home, after another 8 hours a new one ultrasound showed that the amniotic fluid was depleted but the heart continues to beat and the doctors cannot intervene, even in the face of the risk of septicemia. The story was made known by the NGO ‘Doctors for Choice’, which fears a repetition of a tragedy such as that of Savita Halappanavar, who died in 2012 at age 31 in Ireland where she was denied medical abortion after an onset of miscarriage. It is not the first time that a tourist has been evacuated from Malta in order to have an abortion, in 2017 the woman was transferred to France.