Saudi Arabia to crackdown on unmarried women who have children

Ministry of Health to reportedly carry out surprise inspections on polyclinics known to accept undocumented mothers

(AFP/Getty Images)

(AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health is reportedly working to crackdown on women who have children out of wedlock by targeting those who assist them.

Ministry officials would increase inspections of polyclinics known to accept women who pay between SAR2,500 - SAR4,000 ($665 - $1065) to have their babies delivered, Saudi Gazette reported, quoting Arabic daily Al Watan said.

A ministry source reportedly told the newspaper the fatality rate of babies born to undocumented mothers or those violating residency regulations had increased because of a lack of experienced doctors and advanced medical equipment at the polyclinics.

Sexual intercourse, let alone having a child, outside of wedlock is strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia, and there is no legally available morning-after pill or abortion services.

The ministry spokesman said officials would carry out surprise inspections of all major polyclinics in Riyadh and Makkah regions, where a large number of expatriate workers live and work.

He said strict measures would be taken against violators, but did not detail the penalties.

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