The current debate about legalizing abortion is not new in Morocco. For years, civil society has demanded the government end the sweeping ban on abortion and strike down criminal penalties threatening women who undergo abortion and those who conduct such surgeries or don’t inform of them. The law does not exempt cases of rape, incest, and congenital disorders.
Movements and organizations concerned with this issue condemn the state’s ignorance of the phenomenon and call for treating abortion as a public health issue by adopting public policies.
The number of abortion surgeries carried out on a daily basis across Morocco ranges from 600 to 800. Some of them are secretly conducted in hospitals and clinics while others are performed by midwives or the pregnant women themselves at home.
The debate about abortion in Morocco was revived when Dr. Chafik Chraibi, founder of the Moroccan Association of the Fight against Clandestine Abortion, was suspended from his work in the hospital.
Civil society organizations, though, view the issues of legalization and limitation of abortion through varied lenses. The majority of Moroccan society, who are conservative, support legalizing abortion out of health concerns or in cases of rape and incest. The notion of legalizing abortion out of sexual freedom principles isn’t popular among this section.