Moroccan protesters target Dutch 'abortion ship'

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Moroccan protesters target Dutch 'abortion ship'

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Around two hundred protesters staged a demonstration against the arrival of a so-called abortion-ship on Thursday in the Moroccan port of Smir.

Carrying banners and graphic pictures, they targeted the activists from ‘Women on Waves’, the Dutch organisation behind the boat.

Ruling PJD Islamist party youth league member, Fadwa Tribak said: “I think Moroccans feel this ship is a provocation. They have to stop and I think all Moroccans would agree with me on this.”

Abortion is illegal in Morocco, but medical staff on board the ship claim they are trying to safeguard women’s health.

“Well, the boat can symbolically help a few women, we can sail out to international waters to help a few women but what the boat mostly does in this case is that it really tries to draw attention to the fact that there is a medicine available here,” explained Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, from ‘Women on Waves’.

The Moroccan authorities say the group which earlier managed to enter the port despite a blockade, will be asked to leave. It is the first time the campaigners have focused on a Muslim country, they have previously visited Roman Catholic Portugal, Ireland and Spain.