BHEKISISA Mail & Guardian Centre for Health Journalism has been putting the spotlight on some of the breakdowns that make accessing a free, safe and legal abortion difficult.
It spoke to Indira Govender, a member of the Rural Doctors Association of South Africa in KZN. She said doctors and nurses who refuse to provide abortions on principle — called “conscientious objectors” — contribute to the difficulties of accessing abortion services in the country.
Click here to see #SizaMap, which shows you where you can get a safe, legal abortion.
Conscientious objection is legal, but only if a referral to a willing doctor is provided. Unregulated objectors can become a law unto themselves and bring abortion services to a standstill, Govender said. “Objectors may not want to prescribe pain medication for the procedure, refuse to provide the abortion pill or to do an ultrasound.”
Listen to what #SizaMap researcher TuyeimoIvawa Haidula was told when she called one health facility to confirm whether it offered terminations.