Egyptian activists: We need to talk about abortion

Abortions are illegal in Egypt unless they are necessary to save a married woman's life. But that doesn't stop local women from having one. Egyptian society needs to acknowledge this, activists say

Diana Hodali
Jan 17, 2023

The memory of that day is still very painful for Noura. She was in Cairo's City Stars Mall when she suddenly felt cramps, accompanied by heavy bleeding: "I sat down on the toilet. I felt something heavy flowing from my uterus. I put my hand under me to catch the blood."

Noura is not using her real name here. She had an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 23 while in an extramarital relationship with a man called Khaled.


Getting an Abortion in Egypt: Silence is the Real Killer

28 MAY 2021

I can still feel how the air left my chest when I saw the second line appear on
the test.

I always thought I would know exactly what I wanted if I ever found out I was
pregnant. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I had always
considered myself well-informed, pro-choice, pragmatic, but when the
hypothetical became reality, I was stunted.


Why I collect Egyptian women’s stories of abortion

Why I collect Egyptian women’s stories of abortion

By Ghadeer Ahmed
September 28, 2019

On September 28, 2017, International Safe Abortion Day, I published the first part of the “Abortion Tales” series with Mada Masr. The tales narrate real women’s experiences with unsafe abortion in Egypt, in light of its criminalization in the Egyptian penal code. I began to collect and write stories as a starting point to get more involved with women’s experiences with their bodies. This involvement is not only through writing, but also the emotions, bodily memories and affects resulting from direct encounters with the women who offer to share their accounts in the series. Here, I share the story of my journey.


1st Egyptian Medical Liability draft law to regulate abortion

1st Egyptian Medical Liability draft law to regulate abortion
By: Egypt Today staff

CAIRO – 3 December 2017: Parliament's Health Affairs Committee will resume on Sunday the discussion of the first Medical Liability draft law, presented by MP Ayman Abul Ela.

This law clarifies under what circumstances abortion procedures can be carried out. Abortions are considered legal in two circumstances – if the mother’s life is at risk because of the pregnancy or if the fetus has a disorder that makes it "incompatible with life." Abortion is illegal in all other circumstances and cannot be opted into.

Under this law, abortion surgery should only be performed by a specialist in gynecology and obstetric and the pregnant woman should receive the consent of the treating doctor that her case requires an abortion.

Continued at source:

Feature: Doctors who are our role models and our inspiration – Dame Margaret Sparrow, New Zealand, and Prof Mahmoud Fathalla, Egypt

2 December 2016, by Safe Abortion

"Dame Margaret Sparrow was 21 when she carried out her do-it-yourself abortion. The year was 1956; if you didn't want a baby, there were few ways out. She sent away for an inky-black elixir from a chemist rumoured to know about such things, and it arrived in the post in a brown paper bag.

Professor Mahmoud F Fathalla: "unarguably the greatest women's health rights champion of the last century" at 80-something

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Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion