ABORTION CLINIC INFORMATION
ABORTION IN SAUDI ARABIA
Abortion in Saudi Arabia
Induced abortion is illegal in Saudi Arabia, except under certain circumstances. According to the law for regulation of practice in medicine and dentistry, a physician cannot perform abortion on a woman, except if continued pregnancy gravely endangers a woman’s life. For an abortion to be performed, it has to be proven beyond doubt that the continuation of pregnancy is a risk to the woman’s life. Termination of pregnancy is only allowed if the gestational age is less than four months. An opinion of three physicians is essential before performing an abortion. A written consent from the woman’s husband or guardian is also essential before performing an abortion.
During the first forty days of pregnancy, abortion may be allowed as a means to prevent harm. The law makes no provision for conducting an abortion citing economical grounds or if the parents think they have enough children. During the second trimester, abortion can be allowed when it is proven beyond doubt that the continued pregnancy will endanger the mother’s life. During the third trimester, abortion is generally banned except when it can be proved that the only way to save the mother is by aborting the child and that too, after all other options have been explored and tried for the same. A legal abortion can only be performed in a government hospital, after obtaining permission from the director of the institute. Abortion is also permitted to save a woman’s mental health. The official number of abortions reported per year in Saudi Arabia is very low as a result of strict laws. It is obvious that the total numbers are a lot higher than the reported numbers as majority of the illegal abortions go unreported.
According to Johnston’s archives, only 14 abortions were reported in the year 2014. This is in gross contrast to the World Health Organization (WHO) data, which estimates that the unsafe abortion rate per 1000 women is approximately 20 to 24. The maternal mortality due to unsafe abortions per 100,000 live births was anywhere between 10-70. These numbers are really difficult to estimate because of the strict laws and the stigma attached to abortion.
As in other countries with restrictive laws, women often resort to unsafe means of abortion such as herbal medicines, consuming toxins, heavy physical labour and inserting instruments in to the uterus. These methods are dangerous and often put the woman’s life at risk. In addition, women who survive these methods have lasting damage to their reproductive organs. Illegal abortion services are available and abortion pill is prescribed to women seeking abortion.
However, this is not often done under medical supervision and can be dangerous.
As these laws are applicable irrespective of the woman’s nationality and even if the woman is residing in the country on temporary basis, they seek abortion services out of the country or try inducing abortion by the means of abortion pills. Travelling to countries where abortion is legal, such as India, ensures safety and minimizes complications.
Abortion laws vary from country to country and it is important to abide by the law of land especially in area of abortion and family planning.
Abortion in Saudi arabia is banned by law.
Both medical and surgical abortion is a no no in Saudi Arabia - in Jeddah, Riyadh or Dammam.
The Family hospital is a legal abortion unit in Mumbai India and does both medical and surgical abortion in first and second trimester.