American woman denied life-saving abortion after suffering miscarriage in Malta asked husband to punch her

‘You’re pleading and pleading, and there’s no way to get the help you want’

<p>Andrea Prudente, with her husband Jay Weeldreyer, was medivacced to Spain for an emergency abortion </p>

Andrea Prudente, with her husband Jay Weeldreyer, was medivacced to Spain for an emergency abortion

An American woman who suffered an incomplete miscarriage while vacationing in Malta considered asking her husband to hit her in the stomach “as hard as he could” after she was denied a life-saving abortion.

Andrea Prudente, 38, and Jay Weeldreyer, 45, who are both from near Seattle, Washington, arrived in Malta on 5 June for a “babymoon” vacation.

A week into the trip, Ms Prudente started bleeding after suffering a premature rupture of the amniotic sac and the separation of the placenta at 16 weeks.

Andrea Prudente suffered an incomplete miscarriage while vacationing in Malta with husband Jay Weeldreyer

Mr Weeldreyer said upon seeking medical help they encountered the “worst of all possible worlds” as they realised that the pregnancy was unviable, and that his wife would be denied an abortion due to a complete ban on the procedure in Malta.

Ms Prudente was flown to Mallorca, Spain, late on Thursday on a medical evacuation flight where doctors were preparing her for a procedure to remove the remaining fetal tissue because she was at risk of a life-threatening infection.

In an interview with the Today show, Mr Weeldreyer recalled the “moment when Andrea told me she was seriously considering asking me to punch her as hard as I can in the stomach, to start labour or stop the heart.” He described his anguish at the prospect of being asked to strike his wife in order to save her life.

“You are looking at your partner and she’s asking you to do everything that goes against your nature - hurting her, hurting the baby you want - but at the same time it might be the path to save her,” he shared with the morning news show. “You’re pleading and pleading, and there’s no way to get the help you want.”

Mr Weeldreyer said in a separate interview on Friday with the Associated Press that his wife was “exhausted, but relieved” after going to Spain.

“Her physical condition is stable. So, she’s safe. The next step is she has to terminate the pregnancy,“ he said. “From a medical standpoint, that’ll basically be the end of it.”

After the Supreme Court ruled Friday to end constitutional protections for abortion in the United States, Mr Weeldreyer said he and Ms Prudente “just looked at each other.”

“We were just thinking about the women who are going to suffer in states where politicians will choose to do something like Malta for a political gain,” he told the AP. “Women are going to suffer.”

Under Spanish law, abortion is permitted upon request through 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 that demanded the legalisation of abortion in the small island nation. Malta is the only European Union member nation that outlaws abortions for any reason.

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