Woman Kept From Leaving Malta to Seek Abortion

A Russian woman seeking an abortion outside Malta was taken into police custody to prevent her from leaving the country. According to Women on Waves, Nadezda Gavrilova was ordered to not leave the country after her companion, Anthony Borg, complained that she was going to undergo an abortion in the Russian Federation. Women on Waves “condemns this action as a severe violation of Nadezda’s human right to privacy and right to free travel.”

According to the Valletta Times in Malta, the order was issued after Justice C. Farrugia Sacco upheld an application filed by Borg against the Police Commissioner and against Nadezda Gavrilova . Borg claimed that he was the father of Gavrilova’s fetus and that she had the intention of obtaining an abortion in the Russian Federation, where abortion is legal. Borg stated that the abortion would “irremediably prejudice his right to freedom of enjoyment of family life,” reports the Valletta Times.

Women on Waves is a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands whose mission is to prevent unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortions throughout the world. The Dutch organization provides abortion and reproductive health services to women on a specially equipped ship. Dr. Rebecca Gomperts commissioned the construction of a mobile clinics suitable for placement on a ship that sails to countries where abortion is illegal. By sailing out to international waters, she is able to provide essential reproductive services to women, including non-surgical abortions, contraception, and counseling.

LEARN MORE Click here to read women’s narratives about barriers or successes in accessing reproductive health and family planning services.

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Women on Waves 12/5/03; Valletta Times 12/5/03

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