The Moroccan government allowing the sentence of the innocents Rifaat al-Amin and Hajar Raissouni to years of incarceration for having premarital sex and receiving an abortion enables the unprecedented act of policing one’s moral compass.
Background and Evidence:
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.
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.
Sources I Have Found:
The trial unwound as Hajar, a journalist who works for the independent daily newspaper Akhbar Al Yaoum, and her fiance, Rifaat, were leaving a gynecologist’s office in Rabat. The defedants denied the abortion, claiming they were there for treatment from suffering a blood clot. However, the couple was found guilty and sentenced each to a year in prison. Hajar showed no outward reaction towards the verdict. As friends and family cried and grieved for her, Hajar entered the police vehicle and left the courthouse.
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.
Sources I Haven’t Found Yet:
I have yet to find a source further talking about the society of Morocco, whether it’s a conservative community or very open with sexuality. Additionally, I would like to find a piece explaining the lawful side to why there premarital sex is illegal in the first place.
Counterarguments I Need to Refute:
- In Morocco , a child born outside of marriage can end up without a national identity card, which restricts access to an education and health facilities.
- Those who follow the points of the Quran (the main piece in the abortion argument) will say abortions done 120 days after the pregnancy is wrong.