“Mourning” online in Morocco for the teenager victim of a clandestine abortion, H24info

A Moroccan feminist group declared Tuesday a “day of mourning” on social networks in memory of a teenager who died in early September following a clandestine abortion in a village in central Morocco.

“This drama went almost unnoticed and it is quite revolting. We want to take advantage of this symbolic action to alert public opinion,” Sonia Terrab, co-founder of the “Outlaws” collective, told AFP.

The death of Meriem, 14, following an illegal abortion in the village of Boumia in the province of Midelt, sparked outrage from women’s rights NGOs, although beyond that the reactions remained limited.

“The abortion took place in the home of a young man who sexually exploited the victim”, according to another coalition of Moroccan feminist associations, “Spring of Dignity”.

The “Outlaws” invite Internet users to share an image with the hashtag #Meriem on a green background on social networks.

“The objective is for the information to spread beyond activist circles because it is imperative that women are protected and therefore that the laws, which are obsolete and archaic, change,” underlines Ms. Terrab.

Lire aussi: L’accès à l’avortement demeure très inégal dans le monde

Voluntary termination of pregnancy remains punishable by six months to five years in prison in Morocco. The penal code sanctions both the woman who aborts (from six months to two years in prison) and those who practice the act (from one to five years in prison).

In Meriem’s ​​case, four suspects were arrested, including the victim’s mother, according to 2M.

Morocco had engaged in 2015 in a deep debate on a relaxation of its legislation in the face of the scourge of hundreds of clandestine abortions performed every day, in sometimes disastrous sanitary conditions.

An official commission had in the process recommended that abortion in “some cases of force majeure” become authorized, in particular in the event of rape or serious malformations.

No law has since endorsed these recommendations.

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