The Legal Rights on Abortion For Women in Saudi Arabia
In Saudi Arabia, abortion has very narrow exceptions that are limited to medical evidence based on two elements that have to be proven. Firstly, the physical and mental health of the woman is at peril; and secondly, that the fetus is four months or less (Hessini, 2007). In case the unborn baby is more than four months old, a handpicked board of permitted experts must assert that the pregnancy would be fatal to the mother of the child. Outside of these elements, abortion remains illegal within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Research Problem is abortion limits the right to life as it denies an unborn child a chance to live.
Fetal viability is the capacity of a fetus outside uterine conditions with the support of technology. Fetal feasibility is achieved in the 12th week, a concept of viability that was established in the landmark case Roe vs. Wade, where abortion was only illegal if the fetus was considered viable. The state opined that it was infringing against the right to liberty if it controlled every aspect of a woman’s life to the point of dictating over her reproductive rights. Germany’s abortion laws consider two elements, which include medical necessity (beyond the first trimester, where the mental and psychological state of the woman is at risk) and the first trimester (12weeks) in which a fetus is unviable. The law in Saudi Arabia takes a similar approach, especially on the elements of medical necessity. However, for Germany, the law mandates counseling after the procedure to ensure the mental and emotional wellbeing of the woman. In China, abortion is legal and offered in government facilities to address three issues, including crime control (limiting backstreet abortions that cause death), population control, and women’s reproductive rights. In the United Kingdom, abortion is legal but only if practiced under the strict supervision of a medical professional and up to the 28th week of conception, meaning that the state disregards the concept of fetal viability.
Under the concept of fetal viability, a fetus does not have personhood in the legal and medical sense if it is unviable. Personhood considers the satisfaction of at least one of these elements, such as consciousness and the ability to make decisions. An unviable fetus is devoid of these characteristics. Thus, abortion does not limit the right to life in such a situation. However, the right is only defined in instances where abortion is procured even after the attainment of viability.
Britain and China’s abortion laws are justified by the government’s need to control population growth by extending women’s productive rights past fetal viability. China also precludes gender-selective abortions. Germany and Saudi Arabia’s rules focus on the right to life more than the woman’s reproductive rights, requiring medical evidence to support the procurement of an abortion past viability.
Research Objectives and Research Questions:
The objectives of the research are to elucidate that abortion is a reproductive right that does not restrict the right to life because of the issue of fetal viability. Also to explain the concept of fetal viability for the audience to understand that the right to life is not breached whenever an abortion is procured. Therefore the main objective of the paper is to bring to focus the legality of abortion by pointing out the rights of the mother and the definitive lengths in the restriction that limits that right. By this account, the question of viability is defined in the paper through consideration of the breach of life as an argument against the restriction on abortion, therefore, pointing out the procurement of services. As a result, the paper will also recommend the oversight on medical and hospital drugs in light of the autonomy of the ‘mother’s’ in question. This focus will be used in the determination of the roles of the institutions (health, social, educational, religious, and governmental) in the restriction in place and the impact if their recommendation to the formulation, regulation, and amendments of regulations, policy, and laws on abortion restrictions. In looking at the objectives of this paper, the question raised is the legal mandate of the mother in the procurement of abortion and the instance of the breach of life.
· When does life begin and what rights are there within that definition?
· Therefore are there personal and non-personal positions on abortion that interfere with the legal issue in line with the restrictions present?
· What are the rationales behind the position stipulated by the Saudi Laws with regard to the rights of the mother on abortion?
· What is the prevalent data on abortion in Saudi and has this been affected by the laws restriction abortion?
· Which demography is affected by the restriction and what implication is there within that population?
· Hence, what is the socio-political influence of the rights of abortion in Saudi Arabia?
The quantitative research technique is the most appropriate for the research work because it collects and compares legislation and case law from different countries against those in Saudi Arabia. The research will initially focus on abortion laws, fetal viability, and cases in the USA. Then the focus will be shifted to discuss and explore laws, fetal viability, and case law in Saudi Arabia and comparing it with other countries like Germany, Britain, and China, Finally, the research will be reviewed and conclusions will be drawn.
Scope and Limitation:
The research discusses the legal and medical aspect of abortion. For the legal element, it delves into the laws and practices in different states while comparing them to Saudi Arabia. The therapeutic portion discusses the concept of viability.
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