Abortion Support Network (ASN), a small UK-based charity providing financial assistance, practical information and accommodation to those living in countries with restrictive abortion laws, announced today that it has launched its service to people resident in Malta and Gibraltar.
As of today, anyone in those countries will be able to ring the ASN helpline, visit the ASN website or send an email and receive confidential, non-judgmental information about the least expensive way to arrange abortion and travel, clinics that ASN works with in several EU countries, and, where necessary, receive financial help towards the cost of travelling from your home country and paying privately to access a safe, legal abortion.
"In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, ASN brings the gift of confidential, non-judgmental information and funding for abortion costs to new countries.
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue
Ireland has safe legal abortion
So we’re expanding to help Malta and Gibraltar too!"
Currently Malta is the only country in Europe where abortion is completely against the law, whereas the law in Gibraltar allows abortion to save a woman’s life.
ASN has also announced that, in addition to practical and financial support for those travelling, "we will also provide funding for people in Malta and Gibraltar who want to have a telephone consultation or counselling session provided by leading UK abortion provider, British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS)."
ASN’s Founder Mara Clarke said:
“This Valentine’s Day, ASN is thrilled to spread the abortion-fund love to those living in Malta and Gibraltar.
We have been providing our services to Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man for almost 10 years and have an excellent network of donors, volunteers and supporters who believe that “I can’t afford an abortion” should never be the only reason someone becomes a parent. Now the people in Northern Ireland can access free care in England and people in the Republic of Ireland can access free care in Ireland up to 12 weeks, ASN is ready to expand to help those in other countries where abortion is illegal or severely restricted.
ASN and our supporters know that making abortion against the law never stops abortion. It makes abortion inconvenient for those with financial and other supports, and catastrophic for those who are marginalized, at risk, or poor. It means that when faced with an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, women with money have options and women without money have babies – or do desperate or dangerous things to try and self-abort.
We are also thrilled that BPAS will allow ASN to fund people in Malta and Gibraltar to avail of their telephone consultation service. Given the complete lack of information about abortion available in these countries, this definitely fills a need.
While ASN very much hopes that both Malta and Gibraltar enact law change that enables women and pregnant people to have safe, legal abortions closer to home, ASN is more than happy to provide practical information, financial assistance, and, where possible, accommodation in volunteer homes to anyone who needs help in the meantime.”
Lara Dimitrijevic, Director, Women’s Rights Foundation said:
“We applaud and welcome ASN for their decision to extend their services and support to women in Malta.
These services will alleviate to a great extent the discriminatory and cruel situation women in Malta are forced to live in. By abrogating itself from its duties and responsibilities, the state forces women to find their own way to acquire health and support they need.
This initiative is another way of women supporting women as women have always done and will continue to do. Needless to say, Women’s Rights Foundation will do everything in its power to help and assist women in Malta in accessing the service and support provided by ASN.”
A spokesperson for Pro Choice Gibraltar said:
“Choice Gibraltar are extremely grateful that ASN have stepped in to support those women who may be affected with an unwanted pregnancy and have nowhere to turn. We hope that Gibraltar will change its approach to its human rights obligation in the very near future. In the meantime thank you ASN!”
A spokesperson for No More Shame Gibraltar said:
"No More Shame is delighted with the support from ASN for the women of Gibraltar and their sterling work. Especially welcome is access to the BPAS helpline, which will offer free and confidential advice at a difficult time for many women."
Clare Murphy, Director of External Affairs at BPAS, said:
“We are pleased to be working with the wonderful ASN to ensure that women in Malta and Gibraltar have access to the information they need in order to make the decision that is right for them. We share the hope that the time will come when all women living in these countries can receive abortion advice and care at home, where it belongs.”
- Information on the least expensive method of abortion and travel, to England, The Netherlands, or Spain
- ASN funded, confidential telephone medical consultation or pregnancy options counselling session provided by BPAS in the UK (English language only).
- Financial help towards the cost of travel and abortion services (after a financial assessment)
- Overnight accommodation in volunteer homes where possible, and information about and funding towards paid accommodation near clinics when necessary
- Information on the reputable online providers of safe but illegal early medical abortion pills
Contact information for service users:
Phone: +356 266 8 0990 (Will charge as a local Maltese number)
Phone: +07397 902468 (This is a UK mobile phone. We will ring back or return messages so clients do not incur costs.)
About Abortion Support Network
Abortion Support Network (ASN) is a charity that provides financial assistance, confidential, non-judgmental information and accommodation in volunteer homes to people forced to travel from Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man (and now Malta and Gibraltar!) and pay privately for abortions in England. The cost ranges between £400 and £2000 or more depending on circumstance and stage of pregnancy. While many organisations campaign for much needed law reform, ASN is the only group providing those travelling for abortions with the thing they need most immediately: money.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) is a British reproductive healthcare charity that offers pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management, contraception and STI testing to nearly 80,000 women each year via our clinics in England, Wales, and Scotland.
BPAS has provided abortion care to women from Northern Ireland for 50 years, and today also provide a specialist pathway for women undergoing abortion care for foetal anomaly. We currently run the Central Booking Service, funded by the Government and Equalities Office, which finds consultation and treatment appointments in England for women travelling from Northern Ireland for abortion care. www.bpas.org
About Women’s Rights Foundation
Women’s Rights Foundation (WRF) is a voluntary organisation committed to informing, educating and empowering women concerning their legal rights as well advocating for women’s rights on all matters.
WRF aims to ensure that women’s rights are protected through policy and law reform, raise awareness and offer training to end violence against women, as well as provides free legal advice and initial legal representation to women who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual exploitation, human trafficking and discriminated due to their gender.
WRF offers free legal services and representation to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and sexual harassment, human trafficking and gender discrimination.
WRF also advocates and is committed to raising awareness on sexual and reproductive health to women and girls, ensuring that they have access to all forms of contraception. https://www.wrf.org.mt/
About Choice Gibraltar
Choice is an organization advocating for the right to choose in Gibraltar. We support healthcare, human rights and the decriminalization of abortion.
About No More Shame Gibraltar
No More Shame is a grassroots, inter-sectional activist organisation seeking to bring safe, legal abortion to the women of Gibraltar. Find out more on our social media channels:
Twitter: @ NMSgib
Snapchat: @ no_more_shame_gibraltar