A Bizarre Law Banning Sex Outside of Marriage Caused One Woman to Get Arrested For Being Pregnant

I've never thought it was possible for pregnancy to be a crime. But for one unfortunate couple vacationing in Abu Dhabi, the nature of the crime was being pregnant. According to Elite Daily, Emlyn Culverwell, 29, who is from South Africa, was vacationing with his fiancee, 27-year-old Iryna Nohai, from the Ukraine, when the young woman began experiencing stomach pains. 

Unfortunately for the mother-to-be, she did not apparently know the pains were resulting from the fact that she was pregnant. When she visited a local doctor, she was shocked to discover the news. She was even more shocked, however, when the doctor immediately contacted the police, who arrested the couple.

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The shocking arrest comes from the fact that the couple was in the United Arab Emirates, which is very, very strict about its conservative laws. Sex outside of marriage is actually illegal, making it punishable by the justice system. So the couple was arrested for being pregnant.

Image via Flickr/ Valentina Yachichurova

Emlyn’s mom, Linda Culverwell, was apparently alerted of the situation but has not been able to contact the couple. She is understandably very distraught over the situation and is worried that Iryna's cramps mean that she was actually in danger of miscarriage. Without proper treatment, miscarriage can be very harmful for a woman, especially if the pregnancy is ectopic or does not leave the body on its own. 

She has tried to reach out to Emlyn's country of South Africa for help, but because of the country's rules, the foreign ministry stated that they are unable to help. Perhaps even more horrifying is that it's been reported that the government is also forcing Iryna to undergo tests and exams to see how long she has been sexually active. 

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“I can imagine the hell she is going through. It must feel as if she is being raped by the authorities,” Culverwell told a local news source. “The only thing they did which was wrong, was to fall in love. It makes no sense. We are trying to get messages to the two to say we love them and that they shouldn’t be worried. What concerns me most, is that we actually haven’t got a clue how they are.”

The couple was arrested in January, only days after getting engaged on January 27th. But the delay in communication and the fact that there is no way to reach the couple has only made news of their plight recently emerge. As of right now, the South African government is explaining that there is nothing they can do but “monitor” the situation and hope the couple is treated fairly. 

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A Bizarre Law Banning Sex Outside of Marriage Caused One Woman to Get Arrested For Being Pregnant

Chaunie Brusie is a coffee mug addict, a labor and delivery nurse turned freelance writer, and a young(ish) mom of four. She is the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Preparing For Your Baby, Moving Forward In Faith, & Reclaiming Your Life In An Unplanned Pregnancy" and "The Moments That Made You A Mother". She also runs Passion Meets Practicality, a community of tips + inspiration for work-at-home mothers. ... More

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