A woman on the Malta flight suffers from an incomplete miscarriage but is unable to have an abortion due to Maltese law

A pregnant American woman who suffered an incomplete miscarriage while on vacation in Malta will be flown to Spain on Thursday for an operation to prevent infection because Maltese law prohibits abortion under any circumstances, the woman’s partner said.

Jay Wilderer told the Associated Press by phone from a hospital on the island that his partner, Andrea Prudente, is at risk of developing a life-threatening infection if fetal tissue is not removed immediately.

Prudente, 38, experienced massive bleeding on June 12, followed by premature rupture of the amniotic sac and placental abruption, according to Welderer, 45. While the hospital is watching her carefully for any sign of infection, the facility cannot perform surgery to complete the miscarriage, she said.

Malta is the only member state of the European Union that prohibits abortion for any reason. Contacted by the AP, Mater Dei Hospital, where Prudente is being treated, said she was not allowed to give out patient information because of privacy regulations.

The miscarriage was 80 percent complete. Her waters had broken and the placenta had separated, but because of (the fetus’s) heartbeat, “the fetus could not be removed,” Wilderer said. In separate comments to other news outlets, the couple described the placenta as partially detached.

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Mater Dei Hospital, a public facility in Malta, declined to speak about the woman’s medical condition, citing privacy restrictions.

An American woman vacationing in Malta has miscarried and will have to be flown to Spain to have an abortion and avoid infection.

An American woman vacationing in Malta has miscarried and will have to be flown to Spain to have an abortion and avoid infection. (Ducas/Universal Images Group/Getty Images)

The couple from Issaquah, Washington, near Seattle, arrived in Malta on June 5 for a much-anticipated vacation. Her partner said Prudente began to bleed and was hospitalized after a week. He noted that she was sixteen weeks pregnant when the bleeding began.

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Besides worrying about the risk of infection, the two fear that Prudente will resume bleeding during the medical evacuation flight they arranged Thursday night to take them to Spain, where she will be hospitalized.

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Wilderer said the Mater de Hospital “did a good job of what it was allowed to do” under Maltese law. He said the woman is receiving antibiotics and is being watched closely for signs of infection.

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