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Woman Jailed, Deported in Dubai for Illegal Abortion

Woman Jailed, Deported in Dubai for Illegal Abortion

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.

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73 comments

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3:04PM PST on Feb 15, 2011

Emily P., you are so right on. Fundamentalist christian = sharia.

2:53PM PST on Feb 15, 2011

As a western woman, I hate sharia law.

There are so many things, disgusting, in this story ....
First, sharia law.
Second, there should be no punishment for abortion.
Third, the "sex outside of marriage" -- was it consensual or rape? Why is the woman always tried and punished and the man just walks away?
Women play a dangerous game when they seek work in these countries.

11:21AM PST on Jan 7, 2011

Very sad!!!

11:07PM PST on Jan 6, 2011

Such a sad issue :-0

7:44PM PST on Jan 6, 2011

Suzanne....I became pregnant while conscientiously using birth control, and for all we know, this woman might have had the same experience. It happens. All SORTS of things happen!

We can't judge her!

You and I have no more business judging her than we do making decisions for her reproductive future.

7:28PM PST on Jan 6, 2011

Following on from below:

And also makes the stupid decision not to use birth control. WEAR A CONDOM!!!

Stupid, Stupid!

7:25PM PST on Jan 6, 2011

It just shouldn't ever be illegal in the first place.

7:25PM PST on Jan 6, 2011

I agree with Marie W. I think this is a stupid poll. But this shouldn't be a debate about whether abortions should be legal or not. I unfortunately live in a country where abortions aren't legal in my state, but if I ever needed one, and I don't plan to, but if I did I wouldn't get one here, cos its illegal, I'd go to somewhere else. In my opinion she made bad choices, the worst choice she made was staying in Dubai after learning she was pregnant. Lots of South Africans go to Dubai to work because the money is good. She should have cut her losses and flown back to South Africa immediately where, as far as I know, abortions are legal! She also waited too long, 4 months is considered a late term abortion and wouldn't even be permitted in South Africa. As much as I hate these stupid laws, like not being allowed to have sex before marriage, it is still the law there. You wouldn't go to Holland to legally smoke pot and then bring it back to the US thinking you can smoke it there too. I generally avoid countries with funny laws, but if you're going to go there for the money then at least make better decisions. She breaks one (stupid) law by having sex out of marriage, and then instead of leaving Dubai and fixing the problem elsewhere she breaks another law. She wouldn't have been allowed in the country without a return ticket so its not like she couldn't get back out. Bad decisions! She's SO LUCKY she didn't get a worse punishment. I'd be thanking my lucky stars if I were her!

10:04PM PST on Jan 5, 2011

Touche' Pam. Got to love a world traveler.

4:55PM PST on Jan 5, 2011

Yvonne--Perhaps she was aware that to bring a charge of rape under Sharia law, she would nave to produce five male witnesses or be charged with making false accusations.The punishment for that is a vicious whipping. Perhaps the court kept quiet out of mercy. Btw Have you heard that thousands of English women are converting to Islam? Curious.

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