Lack of support for abortion service providers in the public health sector in South Africa has led to an exodus of qualified people who have been trained to provide abortion services. Stigma and judgement from their colleagues have made their working conditions so difficult that many opt to leave the service rather than continue to work in a hostile environment.
According to Kgaladi Mphahlele, the Doctors Without Borders’ Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Manager in Rustenburg, North West, part of their work has been to train nurses and doctors who do abortions, especially for women wanting them late in pregnancy. Mphahlele said doctors and nurses who provide these services are often abused and called “baby killers” by their colleagues.
Speaking at the Sexual and Reproductive Health workshop by Health-e News and Global Health Strategies, Maphahlele added that once a woman goes to a clinic with the intention to have an abortion, it doesn’t matter how far gone she is, if she is denied the service, she will go somewhere else. He noted that the lack of referral services for women who are far into their pregnancies has been a stumbling block to women’s right to access legal and safe abortion.
SOURCE: Health E-News, by Masutane Modjadji, 15 August 2019 ; INFOGRAPHICS: My Body My Choice @myrighttochoice