Women on Waves' abortion ship arrives in Morocco
An abortion ship has arrived in the port town of Smir in Morocco today, in order to provide women with legal medical abortions and advice.
The ship is being run by the Dutch organisation Women on Waves. Founded in 1999, the organisation is dedicated to defending the rights of women to have full control over their own future in countries where their choices are being repressed by state laws.
The ship offers abortions to women who are up to 6.5 weeks pregnant after sailing in international waters, under Dutch law.
Abortion is illegal in Morocco, yet there is an estimated number of around 600 women who have abortions in the country.
Worryingly, those from disadvantaged backgrounds are forced to undergo dangerous procedures that could result in death.
The ship was invited to Morocco by the Alternative Movement for Individual Freedoms (MALI), who are launching a campaign for the legalisation of abortion in Morocco.
Ibtissame Lachgar, representing MALI, said, “We want to legalize abortion, to condemn this law that destroys freedom that we find criminal.”
The Moroccan government has said that it has not been informed about the presence of the boat, but emphasised that any boat entering Moroccan waters had to respect the county’s laws.
The ship will also have a helpline that women can call to get advice about safe abortion procedures. The number is 0633234333.