Posted: May 20, 2015 Contributor: PRJKT RUBY
Progressive Change Coming to Morocco’s Abortion Law?
Conservatives and liberals are at odds in Morocco as King Mohammed VI has opened up a very important conversation regarding abortion and it’s legalization. Unfortunately, as can be seen in conservative areas worldwide, just because something is illegal, doesn’t mean it won’t still happen. Women die each day attempting to undergo illegal abortions which are often done in poor conditions by under-qualified “doctors.” Many don’t even have proper medical training. It is with this knowledge that King Mohammed (who is known for his progressive thinking) has broached the controversial subject this year.
The current law in Morocco only allows for abortion if a woman’s life or her physical health are threatened. Those who believe abortion should be legal question why a women cannot legally terminate her pregnancy if her mental health, social situation or other odds will make it a hardship for her to give birth to a child.
According to a recent article on this topic in The Guardian, 47,000 women die each year from unsafe abortions. Of these, 40% are women under the age of 25. Sadly, 99% off all maternal deaths in the developing world are preventable.
Religious beliefs play a large role in the resistance to change for Morocco’s law. Advocates of legalizing abortion in Morocco cite the current inability for adolescent girls to gain access to birth control as the reason for so many unplanned pregnancies. Without a routine way to prevent pregnancy, many turn to illegal abortions as a form of birth control.
It’s also uncommon for safe sex practices to be discussed within the family, making lack of education another leading cause of unplanned pregnancy.
While those looking for the full legalization of abortion in Morocco may not see this happen soon, it is looking more likely that additional conditions may be deemed acceptable as legal reasons for abortion. These include rape, incest and fetal impairment.