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Abortion in the UAE: Ministry of Health Announces New Regulations

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) has announced regulations and procedures for abortions.

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The new guidelines state that all abortion requests need to be approved after thorough examination by the appointed members. It also states that a committee needs to be formulated at each health authority, by the decision of the Minister of Health and Prevention or the equivalent member, i.e. head of the relevant health authority in the Emirate. Each committee needs to include three members, including an obstetrics and gynecology specialist, a psychiatry specialist, and lastly, a representative from the Public Prosecution with the option to consult another party with appropriate expertise if required.

Additionally, to ensure safety and security of all women who want to undergo the procedure, MOHAP has outlined that the procedure needs to be carried out in a licensed healthcare facility. The procedure upon receiving approval needs to be carried out by a licensed specialist obstetrician-gynaecologist who holds the license to practice in the country.

The Ministry further states that the “abortion procedure should be free of any medical complications that may danger the pregnant woman’s life,” highlighting that the abortion period is only permissible within 120 days. An abortion is also allowed if there are any complications to the pregnant woman’s life, and there is a lack of alternatives to save her. Additionally, it is permitted in cases where the fetus might showcase any prominent abnormalities, and deformation that will affect the newborn’s health and life. These cases also need to be approved by the delegated medical committee in the specific organization.

Lastly, the healthcare facilities in the country are informed to detail the healthcare requirements, before the procedure, and also after care along with the rights and responsibilities of the pregnant woman, including her right to privacy and confidentiality. The revised UAE abortion guidelines are set in place to ensure the safety of women’s health, and will be motored by the health authorities to further facilitate safety measures.

Read Next: Everything to Know About the UAE’s New Federal Laws on Marriage, Divorce, Child Custody, and Inheritance

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