South Africa – Backstreet abortions still ‘preferred’ in Pretoria

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Backstreet abortions still ‘preferred’ in Pretoria
More than half of the 260 000 abortions performed each year in South Africa are done at illegal make-shift establishments.

July 11, 2018

So-called “backstreet” abortions are on the rise in major cities such as Pretoria and Johannesburg – despite abortion being legal. This was revealed by social development department official Jacques van Zuydam.

Van Zuydam was speaking at the opening of a conference on abortion and reproductive rights in the Eastern Cape yesterday.

It is estimated that more than half of the 260 000 abortions performed each year in South Africa are done at illegal make-shift establishments.

Continued: https://rekordmoot.co.za/123312/backstreet-abortions-still-preferred-in-pretoria/

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Inside Durban’s abortion abyss, shocking experiences

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Inside Durban's abortion abyss, shocking experiences

News / 1 July 2018
Bukeka Silekwa

DURBAN - Polka dot blankets and pillows line the pavement outside Addington Hospital’s health clinic where women waiting to have abortions lie curled up on the cold cement. It’s 2.30am, Wednesday, May 28.

Zinhle Gumede (not her real name) sits on the ground, her back to the brick wall. She’s huddled with two other women under a blanket: protection from the frigid winter sea air.

Continued: https://www.iol.co.za/sunday-tribune/news/inside-durbans-abortion-abyss-shocking-experiences-15770564

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South Africa – ‘Conscientious objection’: when doctors’ beliefs are a barrier to abortion

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'Conscientious objection': when doctors' beliefs are a barrier to abortion
As a report highlights the ruinous impact of denying abortion, two medics offer opposing views on the role of personal belief

Hannah Summers
Fri 22 Jun 2018

A rise in the number of healthcare providers who refuse to provide abortion services based on their personal beliefs is having a devastating impact on women and girls around the world, a new study has claimed.

Over the past two decades, at least 30 countries – including, most recently, Ireland, Chile and Argentina – have taken steps to improve access to abortion through legislative changes.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jun/22/should-doctors-be-free-to-refuse-patients-an-abortion-on-personal-grounds

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Unconscionable: Health workers’ right to refuse abortions vs women’s right to choose

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Unconscionable: Health workers' right to refuse abortions vs women's right to choose
When religion trumps science in medicine, women's bodies and Constitutional rights may be caught in the crossfire.

21 Jun 2018
Marion Stevens, Mandi Mudarikwa

South Africa‘s Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act legalises voluntary abortion at different stages of pregnancy. Although viewed as a generally liberal law, the Act has not effectively enabled broad and consistent access for women seeking to terminate their pregnancies.

One of the reasons has been some health providers’ and facilities’ refusal to treat women who need abortion care.

Continued: http://bhekisisa.org/article/2018-06-21-00-unconscionable-a-doctors-right-to-refuse-abortions-versus-a-womens-right-to-choose

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Trump’s Ban On Funding For Overseas Abortions Has Some Little-Known Exceptions

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Trump's Ban On Funding For Overseas Abortions Has Some Little-Known Exceptions

June 13, 2018
Nurith Aizenman

It was one of Donald Trump's first acts as President: a Jan. 23, 2017 executive order that cuts off U.S. support to foreign groups unless they promise not to "perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning." This includes providing patients with referrals or information about the procedure, even if those activities are funded by non-U.S. government sources.

Every Republican president since Ronald Reagan has adopted a variant of the "Mexico City policy" — so called after the city where it was first announced. And every Democratic successor has reversed it.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/06/13/616906884/trumps-ban-on-funding-for-overseas-abortions-has-some-little-known-exceptions

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South Africa – It takes more than pro-choice laws to end deaths from unsafe abortions

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It takes more than pro-choice laws to end deaths from unsafe abortions
South Africa legalised abortion in 1997. Yet so few clinics offer them that women still risk their lives by turning to illegal means

Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng
Wed 6 Jun 2018

I have been an abortion provider for as long as I have been a qualified doctor. In the past five years, I have been inundated with emails, social media requests and calls from women from all walks of life desperate for my help.

I will never forget one young woman who came to the public clinic in the West Rand township near Johannesburg, panicking about massive blood loss from her vagina. It was only after some prompting that she and a family member admitted to using abortion pills purchased outside a shopping centre. She bought the pills after being denied an abortion by the local clinic, where health workers told her “We don’t do those things here,” and shamed her for being young and sexually active.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jun/06/pro-choice-laws-deaths-unsafe-abortions-south-africa-dr-tlaleng-mofokeng

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Reality Check: Year One Impact of Trump’s Global Gag Rule

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Reality Check: Year One Impact of Trump’s Global Gag Rule
Jun 6, 2018

Click to view the full report [PDF]

Executive Summary

On January 23, 2017, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum reinstating and expanding the Mexico City Policy, also known as the “Global Gag Rule.” President Trump’s implementation plan for the expanded policy, called “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance,” was announced in May 2017. The policy states that any foreign nongovernmental organization that takes US global health funds must certify that they do not engage in certain abortion-related activities, including providing abortion services, information, counseling and referrals, and advocating to expand access to safe abortion services. The Global Gag Rule applies to what organizations do with their own non-US government funds and forces health care providers to choose between providing a comprehensive spectrum of reproductive health care and receiving critical US funding. Trump’s Global Gag Rule expands a bad policy enacted by previous Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan, but now implicating almost $9 billion in US foreign assistance and affecting many organizations that had not previously had to comply with it.

Continued: https://iwhc.org/resources/reality-check-year-one-trump-global-gag-rule/

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South Africa – How the ACDP peddled unproven fact in its bid to tighten SA’s abortion laws

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How the ACDP peddled unproven fact in its bid to tighten SA's abortion laws

05 Jun 2018
Africa Check, Gopolang Makou

The party cannot substantiate claims it made before Parliament in March, finds Africa Check.

In 2017, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) proposed a Bill that proposed restricting access to safe abortions in the country by, for instance, outlawing abortions after 13 weeks based on socioeconomic grounds and procedures at 20 weeks in cases where, for instance, fetuses had severe deformities.

The legislation also would have added requirements, such as mandatory counselling and sonagram viewing, that ACDP MP Cheryllyn Dudley told Bhekisisa would promote informed consent. But some doctors alleged the new counselling criteria was nothing more than an attempt to manipulate women.

Continued: http://bhekisisa.org/article/2018-06-05-00-how-the-acdp-peddled-unproven-facts-in-its-bid-to-tighten-sas-abortion-laws

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South Africa – ABORTION & REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE CONFERENCE – Rhodes University to host critical dialogues in reproductive justice

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ABORTION & REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE CONFERENCE – Rhodes University to host critical dialogues in reproductive justice
May 18, 2018
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

Rhodes University’s Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction (CSSR) research programme will be co-hosting a flagship conference to address abortion and reproductive justice issues in July.

In cooperation with the Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition of South Africa, the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion, the South African Department of Social Development, and the Open Society Foundations, the conference – Abortion & Reproductive Justice: The Unfinished Revolution III – will take place from 8–12 July 2018 at Rhodes’ Barrat Lecture Theatre Complex.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/abortion-reproductive-justice-conference-rhodes-university-to-host-critical-dialogues-in-reproductive-justice/

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Abortion in South Africa: A reporting guide for journalists

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Abortion in South Africa: A reporting guide for journalists

08 May 2018
Bhekisisa team

Bhekisisa's new manual provides handy information on abortion data in South Africa, how procedures work and what the law says.

Abortion has been legal in South Africa for decades. Until 1997, however, access to termination of pregnancy services was extremely limited and largely confined to white women.

continued: http://bhekisisa.org/article/2018-05-08-00-abortion-in-south-africa-a-reporting-guide-for-journalists-media-1

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