SOUTH AFRICA – The number of backdoor abortions is increasing

Despite safe medical abortion services being offered for free in public health facilities, the number of backdoor abortions being performed, especially on teenagers, is increasingly escalating as bogus doctors profit from the desperation of young women.

The scarcity of nurses and skill shortages, along with the lack of knowledge and the stigma around abortion, are among the reasons young people still opt for terminating pregnancies through illegal abortions at backdoor clinics.

In commemoration of International Safe Abortion Day on Thursday, health activists for various organisations cited these as some reasons that push young women to consider unsafe abortions and bemoaned the lack of educational resources in public health institutions on abortion.

Tshweu Mosedi, the deputy chairperson of the Mmoho steering committee, told City Press that the lack of public health resources was one of the paramount reasons that led to young people opting for unsafe abortions: “Unfortunately, they even enter the second trimester, still waiting….”

Meanwhile, Tsholofelo Ngwexane, deputy chairperson of the Mmoho committee, said: “You walk into a clinic and find that you get an older lady, who will scold you as a parent and not give the correct professional advice that they are supposed to give.”

More than 100 health activists and young people held a march in Ferndale, Randburg, to raise awareness of safe abortion services and advocate for sexual and reproductive health rights on Thursday.

Some of the health organisations include Ibis Reproductive Health, Accountability International and Ipas Africa Southern Region. They were joined by young people to remove illegal abortion adverts on poles and danger boxes and replace them with safe abortion stickers….

SOURCE: City Press by Noxolo Majavu, 28 September 2023