Sharjah: A woman who tried to abort her foetus after an illicit affair by swallowing drugs died of kidney failure on Wednesday, a hospital official said.

The Filipino, who is in her 20s, did not carry any identification, the official said.

The woman went to Al Kuwaiti Hospital after she felt unwell, but was transferred to Al Qasimi hospital, where she died.

The official at Al Qasimi Hospital who did not wish to be named, said the woman was in a very bad condition when she was transferred from Al Kuwaiti hospital.

She was immediately taken to the intensive care unit (ICU) for treatment.

Tests showed that she was carrying a foetus which was dead. The foetus was removed.

The woman had given false information about her residency and the official said the location turned out be an empty building in Al Wahda, on the road opposite Sharjah City Centre. The building will be demolished and nobody stays there, he said

She apparently was absconding and had lived with other housemaids in an apartment on Al Wahda Road in Sharjah.

The woman had consumed some drugs in an attempt to abort her three-month-old foetus, killing it after a few hours of consuming the medicine, the official said.

Abandoned babies

He said the woman suffered from kidney failure and other complications which lead to her death.

The case had been transferred to Al Buhairah police station who launched an investigation into the incident.

The official said police have found many abandoned babies recently in various areas of Sharjah and they believe most of them were born out of wedlock.

According to UAE law, it is a crime for a woman to abort her pregnancy, but with two exceptions: if the pregnancy endangers the mother's life or if there is evidence that the baby will be born with fatal deformities and will not survive.

Islamic scholars differ in views

Islamic scholars differ in their stance on abortion, depending on their interpretation of Sharia. They all agree that abortion is forbidden and a sin, even if the pregnancy is a result of rape or illegal relationship.

Scholars agree that an abortion may be performed when there is an extreme medical need, such as when the mother's life is in danger. They differ, however, on how far into a pregnancy an abortion can be performed.

The majority of scholars say the procedure cannot take place after the foetus is 120 days old; many cite a Hadith by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) that says a foetus acquires life at 120 days. Others say abortion is forbidden under any circumstances after a foetus is 42 days old.