When I spoke about my abortion on national Maltese TV, it wasn’t what I expected it to be. Given that it’s a sensitive topic, and that I am (as far as I know) the first person in Malta ever to publicly speak about my personal experience with it, I had hoped that I would be granted the time and space to share my story in a respectful manner.
But it was little like that. After I was dolled up with makeup (when I had clearly asked them to keep it natural beforehand), I was sat on a stage with bright lights in my eyes and no introduction to the interviewer beforehand.
And the interviewer wasn’t there to listen to my story. On the contrary, he didn’t listen to what I said at all. It took him about three questions to understand that I had, in fact, been using contraception, just not a condom.
When it went live, plenty of people wondered how I had stayed calm while having pro-life rhetoric fired at me. Looking back on the interview, I don’t understand it myself either.
Questions like “if you were pregnant tomorrow, would you have another abortion?” and “don't you think five days is a little short to make such a big decision?” did not allow me to share my experience in a meaningful way, and I felt I was being pushed into a defensive position.
Being judged and antagonised was not what I hoped to achieve by sharing my story, as you’ll know if you have read my personal abortion articles.
I hoped to share my experience to spark discussion, and show the other side of the abortion debate: real, living, breathing women. Because while unborn embryos are devoutly protected by the country’s pro-life majority, living women are traumatised, stigmatised and silenced about their abortions.
So it was a breath of fresh air when FreeHour invited me to speak about my abortion as part of their Spotlight series, where they invited youths to share their personal experiences.
This time I was treated both professionally and as a friend, an impressive combination, especially for a company that is still in its early stages of growth.
I had a call with someone beforehand to go over the details, who wrote up the questions for the interview and sent them to me long before the interview took place. I was asked if there was anything I’d like to avoid speaking about, and if I was okay with discussing these things in detail.
The day of the interview itself I made my way to the office, right above the Lovin Malta office, where I was invited to have a coffee with Matt, the interviewer, who was genuinely interested in my background and experience.
We took our time going over the details, and I got to know the other team members involved in the making of this episode. And whether or not everyone agreed with my stance on abortion, I could tell I was in an accepting environment with young people open to hearing different perspectives.
The interview came out amazing thanks to the team, and I’m beyond grateful I got the opportunity to share my story in more detail and in a more humane way. Even though the episode itself only lasts 10 minutes, just like the TVM interview, I got to say everything I wanted to share.
Anyways, let’s cut to the actual interview:
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