Abortion yacht sails around closed Moroccan port

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SMIR, Morocco — Women’s rights activists sailed a sailboat around a harbor in northern Morocco today to raise awareness about abortion, despite officials’ attempts to seal the port and anti-abortion protests on land against the group.

The small yacht was in sharp contrast to earlier reports from organizers, who had claimed that a large ship offering abortion information and services was on its way today from the Netherlands. In response, Moroccan police sealed the port for what they called “military maneuvers” and denied journalists access.

But in the afternoon, activists from Women on Waves, the Dutch group behind the boat, admitted they already had stationed a sailboat in the port several days ago. That sailboat took off around the harbor in the Mediterranean coastal town of Smir with banners promoting abortion.

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