“Abortion is a fact of life. It is estimated that over 300,000 illegal abortions are being performed in the country every year. With a maternal mortality ratio of 438 per 100,000 live births, more than a quarter (26 per cent) of these deaths is attributed to unsafe abortions; decriminalizing access to safe and legal abortion services in Uganda is key to reducing unnecessary deaths.”
Barriers to sex workers’ reproductive freedom – including means and access to prevent pregnancy, options to terminate pregnancy, and the choice and resources to raise children – haven’t been thoroughly explored because sexual and reproductive health and rights have been applied in a limited fashion to sex workers. It is telling that the majority of studies concerning FSWs in the Global South address their sexual health but narrowly, focusing on prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS… Most outreach to sex workers does not seriously consider their sexual autonomy or reproductive lives, part of an implicit marginalising of FSWs even among activists, leading them to classify FSWs as a separate category at arm’s length from “other” women.
Recent reports that illegal abortions are on the rise in Zimbabwe have apparently sparked debate on the question of whether the country should “go the South African way” and legalise abortion or increase access to contraception, as if this were an either–or choice.