Morocco to allow abortion in certain cases

Abortion is currently punishable by between one and five years in prison

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Morocco is to allow abortion in cases of rape or serious foetal malformation, the Royal Palace announced Friday after a heated debate on illegal abortions in the North African nation.

Abortions will be allowed in the cases of “pregnancies resulting from rape or incest”, or “serious deformities and incurable diseases of the foetus”, the statement said.

It came after a royal audience at which the ministers of justice and Islamic affairs and the president of the National Council of Human Rights (CNDH) gave their opinions.

Legalizing abortion will be limited to these cases alone, it said.

In March, Health Minister El Hossein Louardi said he favoured “an urgent revision of the law” on abortion in cases involving rape, incest or foetal deformity.

In a country of 34 million people where extramarital relations are illegal, abortion is currently punishable by between one and five years in prison.

Although there are no official figures, it is estimated that between 600 and 800 abortions are carried out in Morocco every day, sometimes in appalling conditions.

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