SOUTH AFRICA – Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition members apply to join as a friend of the court to ensure women’s rights to safe, legal abortions are not eroded

On 28 May 2018, members of the Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition (SRJC) legal working group applied to be admitted as amici curiae in the matter between The Voice of the Unborn Baby NPC and the Catholic Archdiocese of Durban as Applicants, and the Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Health as Respondents. The SRJC legal working group includes representatives from the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), Women’s Legal Centre (WLC), Lawyers for Human Rights … Continued

ABORTION & REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE CONFERENCE – Rhodes University to host critical dialogues in reproductive justice

Rhodes University’s Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction (CSSR) research programme will be co-hosting a flagship conference to address abortion and reproductive justice issues in July. In cooperation with the Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition of South Africa, the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion, the South African Department of Social Development, and the Open Society Foundations, the conference – Abortion & Reproductive Justice: The Unfinished Revolution III – will take place from … Continued

SOUTH AFRICA: Accuracy of gestational age estimation from last menstrual period among women seeking abortion in South Africa, with a view to task sharing: a mixed methods study

Medical abortion was introduced in 2011 in South Africa, is very effective and safe for abortion up to 9 weeks and does not require specialized surgical skills. However, introductory protocols required an ultrasound examination be done to date the pregnancy using equipment and expertise not widely available, especially in more remote rural areas. If women can remember the first day of their last menstrual period (LMP), this can be used to work out their pregnancy duration, and if community health workers (CHWs) can ascertain pregnancy duration from women’s LMP, this could assist expansion of medical abortion services into primary care public health facilities across the country.

SOUTH AFRICA: Abortion in Johannesburg- Painting the town safe on 28 September

  From a young age, girls are exposed to posters on the side of the road reading “quick & painless abortion”. It doesn’t take long before this message is ingrained in their heads and such information is ready to be used in case they ever find themselves in this situation. Since its launch, Fem’s main goal is to guarantee connections to safe abortion providers for women. This is why, on Safe Abortion International Day, the … Continued

SOUTH AFRICA – A draft bill to prevent abortions

  A draft bill by an anti-abortion Christian party proposes to amend the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act 1996 to remove clauses that allow women to terminate pregnancies on socioeconomic grounds, which would cut out the great majority of abortions. It also seeks to remove provision for abortions after 20 weeks, e.g. for fetal abnormality, even though 60% of all pregnant women in South Africa do not even attend an antenatal clinic before their … Continued

20th anniversary of legal abortion in South Africa yet unsafe backstreet abortions persisting

  This year marks the 20th anniversary of the legalisation of abortion in South Africa. Government clinics offer safe abortion free of charge to women who are less than 20 weeks’ pregnant. So why are posters on the streets advertising backstreet services not only growing in numbers, but also in demand? In South Africa, there are regular news reports of so-called “baby dumping” and women who are found to have dumped a dead fetus are … Continued

South African anti-abortion party has tabled yet another bill in Parliament

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) has tabled an anti-abortion private members bill for the speaker of the SA parliament to consider. The next steps are uncertain given recent processual changes affecting such bills in the name of widening democracy. The speaker could halt or it could be sent to a parliamentary committee for consideration.   The Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition (SRJC) are working on a range of submissions and arguments for their members … Continued

SMS technology being pilot-tested to boost access to safe abortion services in South Africa

  In South Africa, in spite of the fact that the country has had one of the most liberal abortion laws on the African continent since 1997, a recent study by Ipas found that some 30% of South African women are currently not aware that abortion is legal and that an estimated 50% of abortions take place in unsafe environments. Lack of essential information is a key factor underpinning poor access to services in South … Continued

Barriers to Safe and Legal Abortion in South Africa

Only about 260 of the country’s 3,880 health facilities provide abortions, according to recent research by Amnesty International. In a briefing report released in February they said the health department has an obligation to guarantee women access to abortion services, but is not doing enough to implement the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act. The research, at some public clinics, found many barriers to abortion. Only five public health facilities in the Northern Cape offer abortion services, … Continued

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