In 1997 Parliament passed the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, placing an obligation on government to provide reproductive health services to all women, including safe conditions under which the right of choice can be exercised without fear or harm.
21 years later serious challenges still persist.
The Amnesty International report in 2017 found that less than 7% of the country's 3 880 public health facilities perform terminations.
Azania Mosaka spoke to Consultant at Nalane for Reproductive Justice and Member of the Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition (SRJC), Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng to understand the barriers to accessing safe abortions.
Mofokeng says affordability is a contributing factor.
We have to look beyond the law. In terms of implementation we have a huge problem of affordability both in private and in public because in public, although the service is free you still need to get to a clinic and for many women they are still travelling and consulting more than two clinics to get a service...— Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, Consultant at Nalane for Reproductive Justice and Member of the SRJC
The other problem is having medical and nursing health practitioners who are well trained in bioethics and have up to date skills and acumen to be able to provide these services to women and unfortunately in the last decade there hasn't been any active training that has taken place of postgraduate nurses and doctors.— Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, Consultant at Nalane for Reproductive Justice and Member of the SRJC
Click on the link below to listen to the full conversation....