UAE Amends Abortion Law: Here's What You Need to Know |

UAE Amends Abortion Law: Here's What You Need to Know

The new changes to the UAE's abortion laws allows pregnant women to take charge when their health is in danger

Posted on

19 February 2024

UAE Abortion Law Updates

Know your rights to an abortion in the UAE.

In the UAE, abortion is a safe and legal option for women to end a pregnancy, provided that they meet specific requirements, including screenings by medical professionals, and her husband, father's or male guardian's consent.

However, a new amendment to the current UAE law on abortion has made it easier for a mother to get an abortion if her life is in grave danger. The changes to the UAE's abortion law allows pregnant women to take charge of her health without needing to wait for her partner's or father's approval.

Abortion Law in the UAE: What are the new changes?

One of the key amendments to the UAE's existing abortion law is that the pregnant woman's consent is first in line of priority. We break down the hierarchy of consenting to an abortion operation:

1.) The woman's consent is first.

For married women:
If a pregnant woman is in dire need to abort the foetus to save her life, or the foetus is proven to be deformed, she only needs to provide her own consent, and not her husband's or other direct male relative's.

For unmarried women:
As it is now allowed for single or unmarried women to give birth in the UAE, the amended abortion law can help ease the already-difficult procedure by only requiring the pregnant woman's consent.

UAE amends abortion laws in February 2024

2.) What if she's unable to give consent to an abortion?

If there arises a situation where she is unable to provide consent, only then is the pregnant woman's husband or male relative's consent required for a life-saving abortion procedure.

However, if the woman can give informed consent, then the husband or male relative's permission is not required at all.

3.) Emergency cases.

As per UAE law, consent is not required in emergency cases where the pregnant woman needs immediate surgical intervention.

When is an abortion allowed in the UAE?

Medical professionals are allowed to conduct an abortion in the UAE if the pregnant woman meets either of the two scenarios:

  1. Continuing the pregnancy will place the woman's life in danger.
  2. If medical professionals prove that the foetus is incurably deformed.

Abortion may only be done in the UAE to save the mother's life, or if the foetus is proven to be incurably deformed.

It's important to note that getting an abortion for any other reason, outside of saving the woman's life or terminating a deformed foetus, is still illegal in the UAE.

Abortions carried out for any other scenario is punishable with imprisonment for up to four years.

Amended abortion law in UAE, explained

Restriction Removed

According to the amended UAE abortion law, the restriction limiting the availability of abortion to 120 days since gestation has been removed.

UAE Cabinet Can Issue Approval

The UAE Cabinet also has the power to issue approval for other situations that requires abortion, and will be done on a case by case basis. Pregnant mothers whose case may require different attention may be eligible.