The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) has taken a significant step towards safeguarding women’s health and well-being in the UAE. The introduction of new guidelines for abortion procedures prioritizes the safety of pregnant women while establishing clear regulations for healthcare facilities.

Committee Oversight Ensures Responsible Care

Gone are the days of unilateral decisions. Under the new protocol, a dedicated committee will meticulously evaluate each abortion request. This committee, as reported by Emirates News Agency (WAM), comprises a trio of specialists: an obstetrician-gynecologist, a psychiatrist, and a representative from the Public Prosecution. When necessary, the committee can seek additional expertise from relevant specialists.

Permissible Cases Prioritize Maternal and Fetal Health

The Ministry has outlined clear justifications for allowing abortions. Termination of pregnancy is permitted when continuing it poses a direct threat to the mother’s life with no viable alternatives. Additionally, severe fetal malformations that significantly compromise the newborn’s health and survival qualify for abortion, with supporting documentation from a specialized medical committee.

Important Timeframe and Procedural Requirements

The guidelines establish a gestational age limit of 120 days for permissible abortions. Notably, women in the UAE can now make this decision independently, without requiring partner consent.

Furthermore, the new regulations emphasize the importance of safety and proper medical care. The procedure must be conducted solely in healthcare facilities licensed by the relevant health authority. Only a licensed and qualified obstetrician-gynecologist can perform the abortion, ensuring adherence to the highest medical standards and minimizing risks to the woman’s health.

Focus on Patient Rights and Confidentiality

The healthcare authority is actively developing a comprehensive policy that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both healthcare facilities and the women seeking abortions. This policy will encompass pre- and post-procedural healthcare requirements, ensuring informed decisions and proper care for women. Additionally, the guidelines prioritize patient privacy, guaranteeing the confidentiality of a woman’s personal information and medical records.

The health authority will maintain a vigilant watch on licensed facilities, conducting regular monitoring and assessments to ensure their strict adherence to the new regulations. This commitment to oversight fosters a safe and responsible environment for women’s healthcare.
These new guidelines represent a positive step towards safeguarding women’s health and reproductive rights in the UAE.The emphasis on safety, committee oversight, and patient privacy establishes a framework for responsible abortion practices that prioritize the well-being of women.

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