Woman with miscarriage in Malta taken to Spain to have an abortion

PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain (AP) – A pregnant American woman who suffered an incomplete miscarriage while vacationing in Malta was treated Friday at a hospital on the Spanish island of Mallorca because Maltese law prohibits abortion, the woman’s partner said.

Jay Weeldreyer told The Associated Press that doctors at Son Espases University Hospital in Palma de Mallorca were preparing his partner, Andrea Prudente, for a procedure to remove the remaining fetal tissue because she was at risk of a life-threatening infection.

A medical evacuation flight transported the couple from Malta to Mallorca at the end of Thursday.

Prudente, 38, suffered heavy bleeding on June 12, followed by a premature rupture of the amniotic sac and detachment of the placenta, Weeldreyer, 45, told The AP on Thursday.

The Malta hospital where she was treated kept a close eye on her for signs of infection, but it was unable to perform the surgery to complete the miscarriage, he said.

Malta is the only country in the European Union that bans abortion for any reason.

The couple from Issaquah, Washington, a town near Seattle, arrived in Malta on June 5 for what they had planned as a “babymoon” vacation. A week after the trip, Prudente started bleeding, and they encountered the “worst of all possible worlds, where there is no good choice,” Weeldreyer said. He indicated that she was 16 weeks pregnant at the time.

Under Spanish law, abortion on request is allowed up to and including the 14th week of pregnancy and up to the 22nd week when a woman’s life or health is in danger.

The Women’s Rights Foundation in Malta filed a legal protest in court last week demanding the legalization of abortion in the small island.

Ciarán Giles in Madrid and Frances D’Emilio in Rome contributed to this report.