Battle continues for women's right to safe (and stigma-free) abortions

It's been 20 years since the passing of the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Act, but yet not all women in South Africa have access to safe abortions.

The Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) says that many women still struggle to access this health service which is supposed to be their right under that law.

As a consequence, more than half of all termination of pregnancies (TOPs) carried out in this country are illegal (and often unsafe).

WLC lead attorney Jody Fredericks says that while South Africa's laws are very progressive, what is on paper does not translate to health practice and women's lived realities.

Fredericks explains that there is not enough information about TOPs, and many women have complained about maltreatment from healthcare practitioners.

This conflates the challenges to access, because TOPs are time sensitive procedures, advises Fredericks.

There are also those who deny women access to TOPs because of their conscience, thus violating the women's moral and legal choice.

TOPs in the public healthcare are free, but private services are costly and prohibitive for poorer women.

Journalist Joonji Mdyogolo has collected women's abortion stories as a part of larger series of work, and says abortion is highly pathologised subject matter, often linked to young black poor teenage girls.

She says that women of different, ages, races and upbringings have all experienced the stigma of what is a common social practice.

We might have moved progressively in terms of the law, but we haven't changed in terms of how we think about it.

Joonji Mdyogolo, journalist

Young people, married couples, religious leaders - people from all walks of life - want to remain anonymous because of the social stigma.

Mdyogolo advises that South Africans need to rethink the polarising binary discussion of 'pro-choice' vs 'pro-life'.


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Battle continues for women's right to safe (and stigma-free) abortions


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Warning issued over new Absa logo scam

Warning issued over new Absa logo scam

Cyber criminals are using Absa's new logo as the basis of a new phising scam, here's what to look out for.

Dr debunks 'sinus headaches' myth and shares expert tips on how to beat the pain

Dr debunks 'sinus headaches' myth and shares expert tips on how to beat the pain

Dr Shevel says that treatment cannot be fully effective without assessing where the pain is coming from.

SA-made Rolkem cake decoration products may not be safe to eat

SA-made Rolkem cake decoration products may not be safe to eat

The UK’s Food Standards Agency issued an advisory, claiming that Rolkem failed to confirm that their ingredients were safe to eat.

UWC crowned Africa's greenest campus for the third time

UWC crowned Africa's greenest campus for the third time

UWC's Njabulo Maphumulo says the accolade recognises the university's ongoing efforts toward environmental sustainability.

[WATCH] What makes Kalk Bay one of the world's coolest hoods? Here's the lowdown

[WATCH] What makes Kalk Bay one of the world's coolest hoods? Here's the lowdown

The quaint seaside town of Kalk Bay, along the False Bay coast, has been named as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world.

Outrage over Constantia wine farms' permits to hunt baboons

Outrage over Constantia wine farms' permits to hunt baboons

Cape Town residents have expressed anger over the news that Constantia wine farmers had been issued hunting permits for baboons.

Popular articles
Are you ready to 'Walk the Talk' with 702 & MTN?

Are you ready to 'Walk the Talk' with 702 & MTN?

The annual MTN Walk the Talk with 702 takes place on 22 July this year, under the theme 'Walking for South Africa'.

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Bruce Whitfield interviews La Grange about her and Madiba's attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.)

You’re either a ‘money slave’ or a ‘money master’ (says author of 'My Money')

You’re either a ‘money slave’ or a ‘money master’ (says author of 'My Money')

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Sugar Creek financial expert and author of “My Money” Gerald Mwandiambira.

How to make money through ‘buy-to-let’ (using very little of your own money)

How to make money through ‘buy-to-let’ (using very little of your own money)

Bruce Whitfield interviews Francois Janse van Rensburg, author of “Making Money through Buy-To-Let in South Africa".

'More black farm workers are killed than white farm workers'  - Johan Burger

'More black farm workers are killed than white farm workers'  - Johan Burger

Following a spate of farm murders in the Cape, the policing expert says there aren't enough stats available on farm killings.

Soulful Sundays Playlist: Sunday 11 June 2017

Soulful Sundays Playlist: Sunday 11 June 2017

Favourites to feed your soul on Sunday.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?