Expat doctor, nurse arrested in Saudi Arabia over unsafe abortions

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A doctor and nurse have been arrested in Saudi Arabia for performing unsafe abortions, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.

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The pair were reportedly working at a well-known medical center and were found to be using expired medical supplies to perform the procedures.

The Ministry of Health in Riyadh referred the two medical professionals to the public prosecutor, and they face imprisonment for up to six months and a fine of up to $26,000 (100,000 riyals).

An investigation will be launched into the health center after expired medical supplies were seized from it.

No details about the identity of the doctor and nurse have been released, other than the fact that they are both expatriates.
Abortions are legal in Saudi Arabia up to four months of pregnancy if mother’s health is seriously endangered, according to the Ministry of Health.

After four months, abortions are only legal if carrying to term would cause the mother’s death.

A committee of three medical specialists is required to determine whether an abortion is necessary to protect the mother.

The Ministry of Health said in a statement carried by SPA that it will “continue to take the maximum penalties and legal measures” against medical institutions that do not meet the required legal standards.

The ministry has a 24 hour hotline (937) that members of the public can use to report any legal infractions.

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