ROME, Italy (AFP) — An American woman has been left fearing for her life in Malta after suffering what seemed like a miscarriage but being denied an abortion due to the country’s strict laws, her partner said Wednesday.
“She’s terrified,” Jay Weeldreyer told AFP by telephone from a hospital on the Mediterranean island nation where his partner Andrea Prudente has been admitted.
“It feels like a cruel and unusual punishment is being levied upon an innocent woman.”
The couple were on holiday on Malta when Prudente went to hospital with heavy bleeding in her 16th week of pregnancy. The baby was okay, but a day or two later, her waters broke.
Another ultrasound showed the placenta was partially detached from the uterus, although the baby had a heartbeat, Weeldreyer said.
They were told to come back in 48 hours, when another ultrasound confirmed “the water’s gone, the baby’s.. not going to survive”, despite still having a heartbeat.
Due to Malta’s total ban on abortion, however, doctors will not intervene, Weeldreyer said, an account confirmed by a non-profit group who publicized the case, Doctors for Choice.
So the couple is waiting.
“They’re waiting for the heartbeat to stop, they’re waiting for Andrea to miscarry, or they’re waiting for her to have a life-threatening infection,” he said.