Story 65 - 16.12.2022
This personal experience was originally shared with Doctors for Choice Malta. This was during the parliamentary discussions of Bill 28 in November and December 2022. If the legal amendment is enacted, it will allow abortion when the pregnant person's life or health is in grave danger. This will mean that the healthcare professionals involved and the pregnant person herself will not be subjected to criminal sanctions in such scenarios.
The story below is being published on Break the Taboo Malta with the author's consent.
"I chose, or rather could not have a termination (abroad), for a number of reasons I’m not going into. I carried my very much wanted but non-viable pregnancy to 23 weeks.
The trauma and pain one goes through cannot be expressed in words. I can never forget the feeling of complete hopelessness as I sat waiting next to excited pregnant women as I needed to have regular ultrasounds to check if my baby’s dead. Having people congratulate you as they see your very evident pregnant belly, choosing the baby’s burial outfit instead of the coming home one. These are only a few terrible things women in my situation go through.
But the worst thing for me was my doctor telling me, towards the end of my pregnancy, that it was normal for me not to be feeling the baby move as due to her condition, swelling was so severe that there was no space left for her to move.
I still carry the guilt with me. Why hadn’t I terminated early on in the pregnancy? Why had I prolonged the suffering of my precious daughter? Was it really for her? Or had I not done it because I did not want to be seen as a murderess by society?"