Tubal Ligation (or lack thereof) in Malta

So for those that don’t know exactly how the female body works, let’s start with a quick physiology lesson so we’re all on the same page about our reproduction organs. The ovaries are each connected to the uterus by a fallopian tube and during typical ovulation, one of the ovaries releases a mature egg that travels through its adjacent fallopian tube and may or may not become fertilised by sperm.

Removing or blocking both fallopian tubes stops eggs from travelling each month, meaning no fertilisation hence; no bun in the oven.

Should a woman opt to do a tubal ligation, more often than not the operation is done laparoscopically unless she opts differently. This means that you will receive three small incisions in your abdomen, one in the belly button and two more incisions lower down. The surgery will take around 30 minutes and then you will usually be discharged a few hours later.

Guess what? Such a procedure in Malta will need to be done privately and it will cost around €2,600 to be done privately. €2,600 for a 30 minute procedure. How’s that fair for us women? Yet that doesn’t even describe half the hardship that we as have women have to go through to get a tubal ligation. Money apart, just getting approved for the procedure is also difficult in itself.

In order to find a gynaecologist that is willing to do a tubal ligation you will definitely need to ask you fair share of medical professionals. A women will be bombarded with statements such as “you’re too young to do it” or “you’ll change your mind in the future”.

Statements which try to doubt our decision and make us question the authority that we have over our own bodies. Questions that are historically embedded into the psych of our society thanks to hundreds of years of patriarchal rule.

Congratulations. Finally you found a gynaecologist that is willing to do it, however please (if you’re married) do not forget to bring your husband to sign the consent forms. Yet if he wants to do a vasectomy, he can do it without your knowledge.

This is not right and we need to work all together in order to ensure that this country provides better education. Malta lacks education when it comes to women’s reproductive rights and if this lack of education prevails, we can forget about ever seeing any proper improvement to our rights.

I wholeheartedly believe that women should be in charge of decisions that effect them and tubal ligation should be performed free of charge if and when a women asks for it.

Will we ever see this happening? As things stand today, it’s highly unlikely, yet if we work together, if women asks women to represent them, WE can make a difference.

Tiffany Abela-Wadge
General Election Candidate on the 9th and 10th Districts with the Nationalist Party.