The announcement was made by The Ministry of Health and Prevention…

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) has announced guidelines and procedures for abortion procedures in the UAE. The new protocol has been put in place to help preserve the pregnant woman’s life and to ensure her safety. It also outlines the roles and responsibilities of the healthcare facilities operating in the UAE.

The new regulation stipulates that decisions on abortion requests shall be made by a dedicated committee, after proper examination of the case. According to Emirates News Agency (WAM), the committee should comprise of three doctors: an obstetrics and gynaecology specialist, a psychiatry specialist and a representative from the Public Prosecution. The committee will be allowed to consult a third party with the appropriate expertise when needed.

The Ministry stated that an abortion will be permitted if “continuing the pregnancy endangers the pregnant woman’s life, in the absence of any alternative way to save her life, or if the fetus’ deformation is severe and will affect the newborn’s health and life.” The case will be need to supported by a medical report issued by a specialised medical committee.

An abortion is permissible in various cases, provided the gestational period at the time of the procedure does not exceed 120 days.

*Women in the UAE no longer need their partner’s consent for abortions*

Additionally, the new guideline highlights that the abortion procedure should be performed only in a healthcare facility licensed by the healthcare authority. The procedure should be performed by a specialist obstetrician-gynaecologist who has a license to practice in the country. The abortion should be free of any medical complications which may put the pregnant woman’s life at risk.

The healthcare authority is developing a policy outlining the responsibilities and obligations of the healthcare facility and medical staff in charge of the abortion procedures. It will also detail the rights and responsibilities of the pregnant woman, explaining the necessary healthcare requirements before and after the abortion procedure. The new guidelines also stipulate that the personal data and privacy of the woman undergoing the procedure should be kept confidential.

The health authority will undertake the responsibility to monitor and supervise the activities of the licensed facilities to evaluate their compliance.

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