Moroccan warships block entrance of Women on Waves ship in the harbor of Smir.

The Moroccan authorities have taken action against the ship of Women on Waves that was due to arrive in the harbor of Smir at 13.00 today. Marina Smir has been completely closed. Warships now block the entrance for the ship of Women on Waves. Despite this obstacle and the presence of intensive Moroccan police security, Women on Waves will not this to prohibit the dissemination about the availability of safe medical abortion for Moroccan women.

The ship will also launch a hotline number 0633234333 where women can get information about safe medical abortion. A medicine called misoprostol, that can be used to induce a safe abortion at home (till 12 weeks of pregnancy) is available in Morocco under the brand name Artotec. Misoprostol is on WHO’s List of Essential Medicines. Unfortunately, most women are not aware of this safe abortion method that requires only 12 tablets of Artotec. The WHO’s recommended method of medical abortion is 4 tablets of misoprostol (200 mcg) administered under the tongue. Up to three repeat doses of 800 μg can be administered at intervals of at least 3 hours, but for no longer than 12 hours.

Women on Waves is currently working on alternative strategy for the ship to reach coastline of Morocco.

Abortion Ship Will Visit Morocco Next Week.

For immediate release: “Abortion Ship Will Visit Morocco Next Week”
MALI ( Alternative Movement for Individual Freedoms ) has invited the Dutch organization Women on Waves to come to Morocco with the abortion ship. The ship can provide women with legal medical abortions under Dutch law after sailing to international waters.

Abortion is illegal and taboo in Morocco, but approximately 600 to 800 women still have an abortion every day. While wealthy women can afford safe abortion access, women of low socio-economic-status must often resort to unsafe methods that can result in morbidity and death. Therefore, access to safe abortion is fundamentally an issue of social justice. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), unsafe abortion methods cause 13% of pregnancy-related deaths.

MALI has invited Women on Waves to support the movement for legalization of abortion. To support legalization of abortion in Morocco, people can sign the petition.

In another press release will be send next Wednesday, October 3 th, the place, date and time of arrival of the ship will be announced.
For more information please call:

MALI- Ibtissame Betty LACHGAR +212610177421
WoW- Rebecca GOMPERTS +31652052561

June 4, 2012 by Henri Mamarbachi in Other

Hundreds of Moroccan women a day are resorting to backstreet abortions, a leading doctor has estimated, prompting calls for reform in a country where the termination of pregnancies remains illegal.

Campaigners say some of those resorting to illegal  are the victims of rape, driven at least in part by the  attached not just to having a child out of wedlock but even having suffered rape.

The victims include girls forced to work as maids and women trapped in forced marriages, they say.

And the voices calling for a repeal of the ban on abortion are growing louder.

A national congress will be held on June 12 in Rabat, under the auspices of the Moroccan Association for the Fight against Clandestine Abortion, headed by Professor Chafik Chraibi.

Deputies and Health Minister El Hossein el Ouardi are expected to attend.

“What is happening in Morocco is dramatic,” said Chraibi, a renowned gynaecologist.

Backstreet abortions, mainly among young people, led to the women concerned being rejected by their families, he said. Women could end up being marginalised, forced into prostitution and sometimes committing suicide.

While it is impossible to get accurate figures for what is still an , Chraibi told AFP: “We believe that 600 abortions are carried out daily by doctors and another 200 non-medical abortions.

“In Tunisia, where it is legal to have abortions, it’s 20 times less,” he added.

“A dozen doctors are now in prison for having carried out illegal abortion. A from the Al Jadida region was sentenced to a year in prison, after carrying out an abortion for a young woman,” said the doctor.

And another result of the lack of access to legal abortions was the high number of abandoned children, he added: around 17,000 a year.

The association he runs has been championing a reform of the law. And he argues that legalising abortion could only have a positive effect.

“Our message is that we must work on prevention, as according to the World Health Organisation, 13 percent of maternal mortality is due to abortion.”


The debate over abortion is just the latest front of an ongoing conflict between conservative supporters of traditional values and more liberal, reform-minded campaigners.

A recent case of a 16-year-old girl who committed suicide after being forced to wed her rapist — a provision of Moroccan law allowed him to thus escape prosecution — provoked outrage in Morocco.

Chraibi however said he was more optimistic than ever that there would be change on the abortion issue.

In the past, he said, the political parties were afraid to get involved. But now, the “issue has become a common problem, and the  backs us.”

The minister is not a member of the Justice and Development Party (PJD), the Islamist party that is the senior partner in the ruling coalition. He is with the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS).

But Bassima Hakkaoui, the minister for women and the family, is a PJD member.

She accused the pro-reform advocates of “using the issue of child rape for political means and in a negative manner, which has deeply hurt the image of Morocco overseas.”

Her remarks provoked a storm of criticism from feminist activists.

Fauzia Assouli, president of the Federation of the Democratic League of Women’s Rights, accused the minister of trying to divert attention from the central issue.

“This type of discourse comes from a fixed mindset,” she said.

“Questions such as rape, abortion and child labour are the responsibility of the state,” she added.

“We are going in all directions. It is difficult to move forward with a conservative government,” she told AFP.

But at the same time, she said, there was a growing sense of awareness, a sense of momentum among activists.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Morocco’s government wants to change the law to allow abortion in cases of rape and incest, a minister said Friday, in a country where up to 1,000 illegal terminations are said to take place daily.

Abortion is illegal in the north African kingdom, except in cases where the mother’s health is in jeopardy. The comments from social and family development minister Nouzha Skalli are the first official indications of a potential legal change.

“Recourse to legal abortion in extreme cases, like rape, incest, or a seriously malformed foetus, is no longer taboo. It is part of a government agenda,” Skalli told AFP.

Experts say that despite abortion being illegal in the country of 32 million inhabitants, the procedure is tolerated and performed by most gynecologists.

“Extreme cases must be provided for in law, taking into account ethical and religious considerations. This will change the legislation because we cannot continue like this,” Skalli said.

Between 600 and 800 abortions are performed each day in Morocco by medical professionals, while an additional 200 are carried out without proper medical precautions taken, according to rights groups.

“There are several hundred illegal abortions every day in Morocco. We must understand that a woman does not seek an abortion just because of a sudden change of mind (about her pregnancy),” the minister added.