The new rulings come as part of the country’s efforts to support women’s rights and preserve their health and safety… 

The UAE has expanded the circumstances under which abortions are permitted for both Emirati and expat women. According to Cabinet Resolution No. (44) of 2024, there are three new types of instances where abortions can be performed by a licensed physician.

The law states that women in the UAE can now undergo an abortion if the pregnancy is a result of rape (if the act has been committed against the women’s will or non-consensual sex), incest (if the person responsible is a family member), and thirdly, abortion can now also be possible if both spouses request to do so “after approval by a designated committee”.

In the first two new cases, the rape or incest “must be immediately reported to authorities and subsequently proven by an official report from the Public Prosecution”.

For both spouses to request an abortion, the decision must be approved by a dedicated committee made up of three doctors: an obstetrics specialist, a gynaecology specialist, and a psychiatry specialist, as well as a representative from the Public Prosecution.

Previously, the law allowed women to terminate their pregnancy after receiving a medical report that states that either the mother’s life is at risk or if the foetus is deformed.

When can the abortion be done?

The abortion must only be performed providing it won’t result in any medical complications that may put the woman’s life at risk and only if the foetus is less than 120 days (around four months) at the time of the abortion.

The woman must be offered medical and social counselling before and after the procedure.

All cases of abortion should be performed in an authorised facility by a licensed physician.

Non-Emiratis (expat women) must have been living in the UAE for at least 12 months before submitting the request.

Images: Unsplash 

Source: Khaleej Times