The ship carrying a group of Dutch women named as 'Women on Waves' was blocked by the police in Morocco on Thursday 04 October, 2012. The Dutch group of women anchors to other countries where abortion is strictly banned to offer medical provisions and information from the safety of international waters. The harbor of Smir in Morocco was closed off on Wednesday to stop the ship from entering Morocco.
In Morocco similar to other countries, abortion is illegal but only in some cases where mother is in danger, it's permitted. The ship had started for Morocco on 01 October, 2012 from Netherlands with banners displaying information about abortion. Rebecca Gomperts, a Dutch gynecologist commented that in all revolutions taking place in which women have participated, their rights have been ignored. She added that abortion is a part of fundamental human right of autonomy and sexual freedom.
Woman on Waves said that the ship was called to Morocco by Alternative Movement for Individual Freedoms, a youth group. But the health ministry department of the country on Wednesday declared that the ship would not be permitted to enter Morocco, according to a news agency report. In earlier press release, Women on Waves commented that they were providing legal medical abortions for the women who are six and a half weeks pregnant while touring the countries. The key reason of the group to enter Morocco was to promote the availability of a drug which induces abortion that many of the women were unaware of.
As in Morocco, those who opt for abortion are given a punishment of up to 20 years imprisonment; therefore, women take herbal medicines or go for illegal abortions. A doctor working for Women on Waves, Marlies Schellekens said that are of abortions done every day in Morocco, but out of them only few are done under doctor's observation while others are done illegally, leading to injuries and deaths.
Women on Waves have carried this type of operation in other countries too but this was their first time in an Islamic country. It has toured to Portugal, Poland, Spain and Ireland in order to promote medical abortions and also give information related to it. For their operation in Morocco, they have provided a hotline number so that women can get all essential information on the contraception and abortion.
In Morocco, abortion is performed illegally that leads to serious injuries and deaths. The Women on Waves intention to visit Morocco was to stop the illegal abortions and promote the pills which promote abortion safely. Their intention isn't illegal; in fact they are trying to protect the women from the hazards of illegal abortions.