New studies show benefits of increasing women’s access to medical abortion in South Africa

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New studies show benefits of increasing women’s access to medical abortion in South Africa

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Even though abortion is legal in South Africa for a broad range of indications, many women still encounter barriers when trying to access safe abortion care. Medical abortion, or abortion with pills, is not available in all areas of South Africa and has the potential to greatly improve women’s abortion access.

Two new articles by researchers from Ibis Reproductive Health, Ipas, the University of Cape Town, King Dinuzulu Hospital, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal add to the growing body of evidence on abortion in South Africa in support of making medical abortion more accessible.

Continued at source: Ipas: http://www.ipas.org/en/News/2017/April/New-studies-show-benefits-of-increasing-women-s-access-to-medical-abortion-in-South-Africa.aspx

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Abortion Is Legal in South Africa — But Illegal Clinics Are Thriving. Why?

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Abortion Is Legal in South Africa — But Illegal Clinics Are Thriving. Why?

“Legalizing abortion is one thing, but ensuring safe abortion is accessible can be quite another.”

Sian Ferguson
April 3, 2017

A faded poster with the word ‘ABORTION’ in purple capital letters is plastered on a lamppost near my house in Grahamstown, South Africa. At the bottom of the poster, a phone number is printed in large font. Similar posters can be spotted in cities like Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and Cape Town. It might be on an electricity box in a small town, or on the side of a traffic light in a coastal area. The posters live all over South Africa — in fact, they’re so ubiquitous I rarely noticed them until a foreign friend mentioned them.

“Are these clinics legal?” she asked. “Because, I mean, abortion is legal here, right?”

Yes, abortion is legal here. The 1996 Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act allows trained doctors, midwives, and nurses to perform abortions on demand up to 12 weeks into the pregnancy, and for doctors to perform abortions thereafter under certain circumstances. The act was amended in 2003 to allow any health facility with a 24-hour maternity service to offer first trimester abortion services. South Africans are — at least theoretically — able to obtain abortions for free from public facilities.

Continued at link: The Development Set: https://thedevelopmentset.com/abortion-in-south-africa-is-legal-but-half-are-done-illegally-why-969ffcb7dfea

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South Africa: US Gag Rule to cause more abortion-related deaths

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Health-e News: US Gag Rule to cause more abortion-related deaths

HEALTH-E NEWS South Africa, 20 Mar 2017

The US Gag Rule, reintroduced in January, is likely to mean that many more women in the most vulnerable parts of the world will continue to die from unsafe abortions. HEALTH-E’s Amy Green reports.

“I remember the first time I saw a woman die from an unsafe abortion,” recalls Zani Prinsloo, a midwife with international humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders (MSF) where she manages maternal health projects in crisis zones around the world.

“I was on assignment and this lady came in, she was ash-grey. At the time, we took the history. She was bleeding and had taken a certain medication to induce abortion,” she said. “But it was too late. Our resources couldn’t save her – she had come to us too late.”

Prinsloo prefers to omit the names of the countries in which she has worked to protect the organisation’s projects and the work that they do there. But she told Health-e News that she has saved mothers in seven countries in Africa and the Middle East over the past four years.

Continued at link: Daily Maverick: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2017-03-20-health-e-news-us-gag-rule-to-cause-more-abortion-related-deaths/#.WNAJsrqXDMg

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South Africa: #SizaMap: Where to get a safe, legal abortion in SA

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#SizaMap: Where to get a safe, legal abortion in SA
15 Mar 2017
Ina Skosana, Joan van Dyk

No national database of legal abortion providers in South Africa existed – so Bhekisisa made one.

Abortion has been legal in South Africa for more than 20 years, yet the black market for backstreet abortions still flourishes.

A recent briefing report by human rights organisation Amnesty International found that less than 7% of the country’s 3 880 health facilities offered termination of pregnancy services.

As part of a February story on abortion, Bhekisisa asked the national health department for a database of public health facilities that offered these services and was told that no such list existed. Instead, it was told that databases of abortion providers were kept at district health offices.

Continued at source: Bhekisisa: http://bhekisisa.org/article/2017-03-15-where-to-get-a-safe-legal-abortion-in-south-africa-searchable-map-database-1

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South Africa: SMS platform set to ensure safe abortions

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SMS platform set to ensure safe abortions
Crime & Courts | 4 March 2017
Rabbie Serumula

Johannesburg - They advertise their illicit abortion services, and cellphone numbers, on posters stuck across the city.

But illegal abortions are unreliable and unsafe, and that’s why Phephisile Mathizerd has helped start a new initiative to link women to safe abortions in Gauteng - at their fingertips.

The new initiative, called FEM, is designed to give girls and women access to safe and legal abortions through an SMS platform.

Continued at source: IOL.co: http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/sms-platform-set-to-ensure-safe-abortions-8036676

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South Africa: A guide to safe abortion services now at your fingertip

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A guide to safe abortion services now at your fingertips
Roxanne Henderson | 2017-03-02

When Phephisile Mathizerd was 21 and her friend had an unwanted pregnancy she had no idea how to help her.

“She didn't know where to go. I didn't know where to go. I didn't think of asking my mom or her mom where to go. I went to Google and found Marie Stopes‚ but I could have easily stumbled on an illegal facility‚” she said.

Now‚ years later‚ Mathizerd is spearheading an initiative to help women locate safe facilities for abortions in the form of an SMS portal called Fem.

The service provides users with a referral to a safe abortion clinic‚ vetted by social enterprise safe2choose‚ at their fingertips.

Continued at link: http://www.timeslive.co.za/lifestyle/2017/03/02/A-guide-to-safe-abortion-services-now-at-your-fingertips1?platform=hootsuite

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South Africa: Hospitals have no data on botched abortions – DA

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Hospitals have no data on botched abortions - DA
Gauteng / 1 March 2017
Thembelihle Mkhonza

Johannesburg – Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng MPL Jack Bloom on Wednesday said he found out that state hospitals in the province do not have data on illegal and botched abortions.

Bloom said he asked the Gauteng Health Department a question about rates of abortions in the province. He said the response he got had no information on illegal and botched abortions.

Continued at link: IOL news: http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/gauteng/hospitals-have-no-data-on-botched-abortions---da-7990668

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South Africa: When is an abortion legal?

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When is an abortion legal?
21 Feb 2017
Ina Skosana

Find out when you can terminate a pregnancy and who should be doing it.

Abortion has been legal in South Africa for more than 20 years but many women are still having unsafe abortions, performed by unqualified people. Recent research by the global human rights organisation Amnesty International found that many women don't know abortion is legal in South Africa, nor the level of care they are entitled to.

Less than 7% of the country's 3 880 health facilities provide abortions, according to the Amnesty International briefing document released in February.

In South Africa, abortion is legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy but who performs the procedure can differ depending on how far along the pregnancy is, according to the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Act

Continued at source: Bhekisisa: http://bhekisisa.org/article/2017-02-21-00-when-is-it-safest-to-have-an-abortion

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South Africa: Left with little choice, many women turn to illegal abortionists to terminate their pregnancies.

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'It didn't take long for it to come out. I think there was a human-like form.'
17 Feb 2017, Ina Skosana

Left with little choice, many women turn to illegal abortionists to terminate their pregnancies.

The young woman started undressing while the man prepared the medication, breaking one tablet in half. She took off her jeans and her panties and lowered herself on to the mattress on the floor.

The man put on a pair of white surgical gloves, then got down on his knees at the foot of the makeshift bed. He slowly pushed the tablets into her vagina. The 23-year-old woman was lying in a flat in downtown Johannesburg. She stared motionlessly at the ceiling.

Continued at source: Bhekisisa: http://bhekisisa.org/article/2017-02-16-illegal-abortions-inadequate-services-leave-women-in-a-deadly-lurch/

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South Africa: Less than 7% of health facilities nationwide offer abortions – Amnesty International

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Less than 7% of health facilities nationwide offer abortions - Amnesty International
14 Feb 2017
Ina Skosana

In some provinces, safe, free abortions may only be provided at about 260 public facilities.

Less than 7% of the country's 3 880 health facilities provide abortions, according to recent research by the global human rights organisation, Amnesty International.

The health department has a human rights obligation to guarantee women access to abortion services, but isn’t doing enough to implement the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, found a briefing report released in February.

Continued at source: Bhekisisa: http://bhekisisa.org/article/2017-02-14-00-only-260-health-facilities-nationwide-offer-abortions-amnesty-international

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