Moroccan Women Take On Government

A group of women gathered outside the Ministry of Health in Rabat, Morocco to wage war on Morocco’s abortion laws, which prohibit abortion in all cases except when the life of the mother is in immediate danger. Their weapon of choice? Sanitary towels covered in fake blood and slogans they affix to the walls of the ministry. They’re part of a growing movement that’s relying on an unorthodox mix of tools — eyeball-grabbing public campaigns, Islam’s tenets, political pressure and health documentaries — to demand that Morocco relax its restrictions on abortion. Mobilizing for Rights Associates, a women’s rights group, organized a sit-in outside Parliament in June demanding a repeal of Article 449 of the Moroccan Criminal Code, which punishes women who abort unless their life is at risk, and those helping them. Abortion carries a jail term of six months to two years for the woman, while those who help receive even stricter punishment: between five and 10 years in prison.


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