A South African woman in Dubai is one of the newest victims of international anti-abortion laws, as she serves the final weeks of her six month jail sentence for procuring an abortion. The hotel employee, who has been identified in news reports as MB, was discovered to have obtained an abortion after checking into a hospital due to hemmoraging.
According to Hotelier Middle East, MB was impregnated by a hotel guest, and aborted the fetus at four months by taking pills given to her by a friend. When she went to the hospital for complications, she was then reported to the police both for the abortion itself and for violating sharia law by having sex outside of marriage.
Although the jail sentence and deportation seem like a heavy punishment, MB appears to be fairly lucky in that respect. The publication states that the maximum sentence was five years in prison, as well as 100 lashes.
The lighter sentence may have less to do with the offense, however, and more to do with the fact that the prosecution , according to MB’s lawyer, did not even have proper evidence to try her in the first place. Via The National:
Prosecutors charged MB with committing zina – the Sharia offence of sex outside marriage – and aborting a four-month-old foetus. Her lawyer, Harun Tahlak, had argued that she should be freed because the legal requirements to convict her had not been met.
He also dismissed the abortion charge, saying the prosecution had not provided a legal doctor’s examination report as proof.
Mr Tahlak urged the court to be lenient with his client, a non-Muslim who he said had little prior knowledge of Sharia.
MB, after serving her jail time, will also be deported back to her homeland of South Africa as the remainder of her punishment.