Skip to main content

Moroccan activists demand abortion rights after teen's death

Moroccan activists demonstrate in the capital Rabat after a teenage girl died as a result of an unsafe secret abortion
— Rabat (AFP)

Dozens of feminist activists demonstrated Wednesday in Morocco's capital, calling for legalised abortions after a teenage girl died following a clandestine procedure, AFP reporters said.

Protesters gathered outside the parliament, some holding placards denouncing the law which punishes abortion.

"Having a child must be a choice," activist Sarah Benmoussa told AFP.

"We're here today because our voices matter," said Khaoula, 23, a journalism student who joined the crowd. "Every human being should be able to control their own body."

The death of the teenager earlier this month in a village in central Morocco has reignited calls by feminist groups and activists to legalise abortions in the country.

Abortions in Morocco are punishable by up to five years in prison, except for cases when the woman's health is in danger.

"We demand the decriminalisation of abortion from the age of 12," said Fouzia Yassine from Spring of Dignity, a coalition of Moroccan feminist associations.

"We renew this call today. Lawmakers bear responsibility for this situation and for the violence and hardships the women endure."

In 2015, Morocco debated the "urgent need" to reform legislation in the face of hundreds of clandestine abortions performed daily, often under appalling conditions.

An official commission recommended that abortion be legalised in special circumstances, including for cases of rape or serious foetal abnormalities.

No law reform followed these recommendations, despite the lobbying of women's rights supporters.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial