Policing One’s Morality
In the United States, abortion has always been an issue held on by a single thread by those who believe it’s the woman’s choice while others think it’s the woman’s responsibility to conceive that new life. We are lucky enough to live in a country that allows the freedom to choose, however, those in Morocco don’t have any say in the matter. On August 31st, 2019, a Moroccan judge found the journalist Hajar Raissouni and her fiancé, Rifaat al-Amin, guilty of having premarital sex and receiving an abortion. They were sentenced each one year in prison and the doctor who performed the abortion, Jamal Belkeziz, two years of incarceration.
Prior to this sentence, hundreds of Moroccans signed a manifesto demanding the legalization of abortion and sex outside of marriage. Additionally, in 2016, the Parliament was to consider amendments allowing abortions in cases of incest and rape, but never followed through. Though in Morocco it is illegal to get an abortion, it is reported by the AMLAC that daily, there are an estimated 600-800 illegal abortions conducted. Furthermore, just last year there were 73 people arrested in regards to illegal abortions, both giving and receiving.
It’s ludicrous that a country of over 36 million people wouldn’t allow their citizens the right to not only abortions, but also premarital sex. Besides rape and incest, there are countless other cases where the woman is not qualified to take care of a child, even if it’s as simple as a financial incapability or more serious matters of mental or physical disabilities.
It shouldn’t be up to the government whether or not a woman is allowed to get an abortion or have sex before marriage. In doing so, it polices peoples morals by creating double standards and silences those from speaking about trauma in fear they’ll get arrested or punished severely. It is a man’s or woman’s choice alone to say what they do with their body, so be it an abortion, sex, or anything at all for that matter.