As terminating pregnancy is illegal in Saudi Arabia, babies born out of wedlock are often abandoned on the streets, because women fear of retribution for having a child born outside of marriage.
Unless the woman’s health is at risk, its forbidden to end pregnancy in the Middle Eastern country, and any intimate relationship outside of marriage is also criminalized. Unmarried women face jail if they are found to be pregnant outside of marriage.
Women are legal minors in the country, and they are not allowed to marry, divorce, travel, get a job, be released from prison, or even have elective surgery without the permission from their male guardians. Oh, they are also forbidden from mixing freely with men.
According to Dana Almayouf, a Saudi woman living in New York, babies are often abandoned on the streets, but most newspapers don’t shed light on these problems, as it is a taboo.
She added that no matter how open-minded one’s family is, women just can’t keep the baby if she’s not married. If the girl is taken advantage of, the family might even take her life. Men, on the other hand, are allowed to be with women as much as they want, as long as they don’t speak about it.
According to Amnesty’s latest human rights report, women in Saudi Arabia face “systematic discrimination in law and practice”, and are inadequately protected.
Families often blame the girl if her father or brother took advantage of her, and it would be her own fault. The woman gets most of the blame in the country.
Ms. Almayouf said that people sometimes place infants outside of mosques, hospitals, or orphanages, however, they are not able to hand them in themselves because someone might ask them where the baby came from. In some cases, however, nobody takes the baby.