SOUTH AFRICA – two stories

Pregnant? Need an abortion? Here’s where not to go

by Pontsho Pilane

A University of Pretoria staff member and a student told Bhekisisa anonymously that campus clinic health workers refer pregnant students considering terminating their pregnancies to the Amato Pregnancy Counselling Centre’s on-campus offices, opposite the university’s health facility. “The [university] clinic is not equipped to perform terminations, so pregnant students are referred to Amato when they are confused or want an abortion,” the staff member says. “We’ve asked university management why an organisation that’s clearly against abortion is allowed to operate [as the main provider of abortion counselling] on campus, but we’ve not got any answers.” I decided to go undercover in order to experience Amato’s counselling first hand.

Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism, 21 September 2018


The right to safe abortion in South Africa: a clinician’s experience

Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng

It is 2:14 am on a Friday. I receive an email, with the subject line “Please respond” written in capital letters… The contents sound all too familiar. What follows is a scanty account of a missed menstrual period, a vague description of how many cycles have elapsed and no details about use of a contraceptive. …Over the past five years I [have been] inundated on a daily basis with requests for information and details of a health facility where an abortion can be performed. Uncertainty about where and when… to request an abortion, together with an overwhelming desperation for timeous procedures, underpin most communications… emails, text messages, other social media messages and calls received “asking for a friend”… RHM Blog: 27 September 2018