Abortion in Saudi Arabia is only legal in cases of risk to a woman’s life, fetal impairment, or to protect her physical and mental health.[1][2] Pregnancy arising from incest or rape also qualifies for a legal abortion under the mental health exemption.[2][3] The fetus must be less than four months old, and if longer, requires a panel of approved specialists to declare that the pregnancy will result in the death of the woman or serious damage to her health.[4] Any approved abortion requires consent from three physicians as well as the patient and her partner.[5] If an abortion is performed on a woman for any other reason, the violator may be required to pay blood money to the unborn child's family.[5] Laws explicitly deny abortion to families who fear financial instability or an inability to provide the child with education.[5] The selling of pills which are used for the process of abortion is illegal and can result in arrest.[6]

According to the US-based Centre for Reproductive Studies, Saudi Arabia's abortion laws are relatively more permissive compared to other countries of the Middle East and North Africa regions.[7][8]

See also


  1. ^ Maffi, I., & Tønnessen, L. (2019). The Limits of the Law: Abortion in the Middle East and North Africa. Health and Human Rights, 21(2), 1–6.
  2. ^ a b Livni, Ephrat (25 May 2019). "Saudi Arabia's abortion laws are more forgiving than Alabama's". Quartz. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  3. ^ Irene Maffi; Liv Tønnessen (2019-12-09). "EDITORIAL The Limits of the Law: Abortion in the Middle East and North Africa". Health and Human Rights. Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  4. ^ Toebes, Brigit; Ferguson, Rhonda; Markovic, Milan M.; Nnamuchi, Obiajulu (2014-09-05). The Right to Health: A Multi-Country Study of Law, Policy and Practice. Springer. ISBN 9789462650145.
  5. ^ a b c Abortion Policies: Oman to Zimbabwe (PDF). United Nations Publications. 2002. ISBN 9211513650. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  6. ^ "Man arrested for selling abortion pills in Saudi Arabia, triggering debate". www.msn.com. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  7. ^ "Greater abortion access in Saudi Arabia than in over ten US states after Roe v Wade repeal". The New Arab. 25 June 2022. p. 2. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  8. ^ admin (2024-02-07). "Level 2 Ultrasound - Importance in your Pregnancy Journey". 4D Colour Ultrasound in South Delhi | Dr Rupali's Medical & Diagnostic. Retrieved 2024-02-07.