Morocco has escorted the Dutch abortion boat out of its territorial waters. The Dutch activists had sailed to the port of Smir to raise awareness about abortion, a practice which is illegal in the North African country.
Women on Waves had announced that the abortion boat would arrive in Smir on Thursday. The Moroccan navy blocked the ship from docking for several hours. But late on Thursday, the abortion rights activists revealed that they had actually sent a yacht into Smir several days earlier because they feared the Moroccan authorities would block their vessel.
Women on Waves had been invited to go to Morocco by a local group, Alternative Movement for Individual Freedoms (MALI). Abortion is illegal in Morocco, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. But at least 600 illegal abortions are believed to take place on a daily basis.