Rabat, Morocco – (African Boulevard News) – A Moroccan doctor and his assistant were arrested Thursday for attempting to perform an abortion on a 15-year-old girl, a practice that is illegal in Morocco, police sources told AFP.
The doctor, who has not been named, was taken into custody after the clinic he runs in the city of Rabat was raided by police. The girl was found in a critical condition and has since been hospitalized.
Abortion is illegal under Moroccan law, except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger. Women who undergo the procedure can face up to two years in prison, while doctors who perform abortions can be jailed for up to 10 years.
“The doctor and his assistant were caught in the act, and the young girl was found in a critical condition,” a police source said. “The doctor will be charged with attempting to carry out an illegal abortion, which is punishable by up to 10 years in jail.”
The case has sparked outrage among human rights groups, who have long campaigned for a reform of Morocco’s strict abortion laws. In 2018, a law was proposed that would allow abortions in cases of rape, incest, or fetal abnormalities, but it was never passed.
“Morocco’s strict abortion laws are forcing women and girls to resort to unsafe and illegal procedures,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The government must take immediate steps to decriminalize abortion and ensure that women and girls have access to safe and legal care.”
Activists have also criticized the government’s failure to provide comprehensive sex education and access to contraception, which they say contributes to the country’s high rate of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.
The girl’s condition remains critical, and it is not yet clear if she will survive. Meanwhile, the doctor is being held in custody and is expected to face charges in the coming days.
This case highlights the need for reform of Morocco’s strict abortion laws and the urgent need for comprehensive sex education and access to contraception. It is time for the government to take action to ensure that women and girls have access to safe and legal care.