Morocco holds abortion conference

2010-05-28 21:05
Rabat - Medical experts were joined on Friday by jurists, religious leaders and politicians in a first major bid to discuss what to do about clandestine abortions and unwanted pregnancies in Morocco.

"Medical experts, religious figures, jurists and politicians of all sorts are participating," said Chakif Chraibi, a professor of obstetric gynaecology and president of the Moroccan Association to Combat Clandestine Abortion (Amlac), said on the sidelines of the two-day congress.

"This is a first!" for the North African kingdom, where abortion is mostly banned except in cases where the mother's life is at risk, Chraibi said of the conference.

Despite the ban, between 600 and 800 abortions are carried out every day with medical care in Morocco while 200 others take place on the back streets, according to Amlac figures.

When these figures were confirmed by Morocco's Family Planning Association last year, there was a public outcry.

More than 50% of these abortions concern married women and most are carried out among the poorest of people, according to Amlac figures.

Jail terms

Article 449 of the Moroccan penal code provides for jail terms of between six months and two years against both "the abortionist and the woman who has the abortion, as well as intermediaries, except when it is a matter of saving the health or the life of the mother".

But "in practice, abortion is tolerated in Morocco" and most gynaecologists practise it, a participant in the congress said.

Medical experts, religious figures and politicians, notably the leaders of the Islamist Party of Justice and Development (PJD) are taking part in the congress in Rabat where "recommendations will be drawn up", according to the organisers.

"We're going to draw up recommendations which will then be sent on to the parliament, to the general secretariat of the government, and we are even thinking of sending a letter" to the royal palace, Chraibi said.

"In his role as commander of the faithful, it is he (King Mohammed VI) who can decide on this type of question," he added.

Amlac officials said they were "not calling for the legalisation of abortion, but we would like the law to authorise the voluntary interruption of pregnancy in certain cases such as rape, incest, malformations of the foetus and psychiatric pathologies".

Many Moroccan women's rights groups are lobbying parliament for changes to the law in cases of incest or rape.

Read more on:    morocco  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Autobraking: See just how good they are!

Just how good are automatic brakes on cars these days? Two VW models have been praised by top UK research centre Thatcham. Find out why...

 

Stay safe

Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Mom's driving-school dream come true
Traffic Alerts
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may be concerning you and this puts a dampener on your spirits. You may need to take a closer look into documents, forms...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.