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UAE to allow abortion in cases of rape, incest in big reform move

UAE to allow abortion in cases of rape, incest in big reform move


Mangalore Today News Network

UAE, June 21, 2024: The United Arab Emirates is on course to permit abortions in cases of rape and incest. This is a big reform for the Islamic country and an important development in the abortion laws of the UAE as it would ensure better health for women.


UAE abortion new law


The Cabinet Resolution No. (44) of 2024 connected to Medical Liability law states that abortion is allowed "if the pregnancy is the result of intercourse with a female against her will, without her consent, or without adequate volition" and "if the person who caused the pregnancy is an ancestor of the woman or one of her mahram [ineligible for marriage] relatives", reports The National, which is the UAE’s state-owned English-language daily.

The incident of rape or incest has to be reported to the authorities immediately and has to be proven by a report from the Public Prosecution, reports the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper. The pregnancy must be terminated within 120 days and the abortion should be free of any medical complications that might put the woman’s life in danger.

The resolution applies to people who have been in the UAE for at least a year.

"The UAE has a penal code and has laws and procedures in place to penalise and hold perpetrators accountable, what we needed now were legislations to help resolve what may have resulted because of these crimes," a source told The National.

"We need legislation to protect women, children and families."

According to Article (406) of The Crimes and Penalties Law, the punishment for rape is life imprisonment and death if the victim is below the age of 18 or "has a physical disability or suffers from a health condition that renders her unable to resist, or if the perpetrator is one of the victim’s ascendants or non-marriageable relatives".

The resolution will come into effect once it is announced in the UAE’s Official Gazette.

"The new cabinet resolution aims to preserve the health and safety of women and society and, as such, it is a significant positive development," Dr Paul Bosio, chief medical officer at Corniche Hospital in Abu Dhabi, told The National.

"This resolution now adds pregnancies through coercion, invalid consent or incestuous relationships as possible indications, as well as giving the mother the full consent and authority to request the procedure," he said.

"In addition, the resolution puts in place strict processes to authorise, deliver and control all abortion cases. Although the new indications are extremely rare occurrences, these new provisions make this law now one of the most progressive and safe abortion laws in the world," Bosio said.



Courtesy: India Today


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