ABORTION has been legal in South Africa for more than 20 years, but that hasn’t stopped the stigma that some people attach to the procedure.
It can be very upsetting to be in the vulnerable position of wanting an abortion and then to be humiliated or disrespected by the professionals you are expecting to help you.Provincial and national health departments do have complaint lines, but it is often a struggle to get a positive outcome from them. The most effective way to complain if you feel you were badly treated would be to lodge it with the clinic committee (if the incident happens at a primary facility) or with the hospital's CEO.
Listen to what #SizaMap researcher TuyeimoIvawa Haidula was told when she called one health facility to verify whether it offered terminations.
Click here to see #SizaMap, which shows you where you can get a safe, legal abortion.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Each year half of the 55,7 million abortions that take place worldwide are unsafe.
- Up to 13% of deaths among pregnant women can be attributed to unsafe abortions.
- Abortions are mostly only legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, but there are exceptions.
- A legal abortion in South Africa can only be performed by a midwife, a registered nurse trained for the procedure, a general practitioner or a gynaecologist.
- Between 2007 and 2008, six out of 10 pregnancies in the country were unplanned.