Let’s call ‘conscientious objection’ by its name: Obstruction of access to care and abortion in South Africa

Let’s call ‘conscientious objection’ by its name: Obstruction of access to care and abortion in South Africa

Satang Nabaneh, Marion Stevens and Lucia Berro Pizzarossa
24th October 2018

South Africa has one of the most liberal laws on abortion and constitutionally recognizes reproductive rights as human rights. However, data shows important difficulties translating the legal norms into effective access to services. One of the key challenges is physicians’ refusal to perform abortions invoking an “ad hoc, unregulated and at times incorrect” conscientious objection. The Department of Health is now spearheading a reform of the abortion guidelines aiming to bring them in line with human rights standards and reframing the refusal as “obstruction of access to care”.

Continued: http://ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk/lets-call-conscientious-objection-by-its-name-obstruction-of-access-to-care-and-abortion-in-south-africa/

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South Africa – #MyBodyMyChoice: The Right To Safe Abortion Is Protected By Law

#MyBodyMyChoice: The Right To Safe Abortion Is Protected By Law

Shaazia Ebrahim
On Oct 1, 2018

Cries of “my body, my choice”, “my vagina my choice” and “phansi unsafe abortions” rang in the air in the name of the campaign #MyBodyMyChoice. A group of people marched from Theatre Park in Braamfontein to Newtown Park in the name of access to quality reproductive healthcare services on Friday. There, an event featuring speeches from experts in the field, panel discussions, personal stories of women, and a musical performance was staged. Friday September 28 also marked International Safe Abortion Day.

The aim of the digital campaign #MyBodyMyChoice is to break the silence around abortion by connecting key audiences and create conversations around sexual and reproductive health and rights and abortion. It also aimed to emphasise that abortion is legal in South Africa and inform women about their rights and how to realise them.

Continued: http://www.thedailyvox.co.za/mybodymychoice-the-right-to-safe-abortion-is-protected-by-law-shaazia-ebrahim/

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South Africa: #sliceoflife – ‘I Opened Her Up and Found Her Womb Was Rotten From the Infection’

South Africa: #sliceoflife - 'I Opened Her Up and Found Her Womb Was Rotten From the Infection'

28 September 2018
By Laura Lopez Gonzalez

Obstetrician Eddie Mhlanga often had to attend to women who had unsafe abortions during apartheid, when abortion was illegal in South Africa.

I had a colleague who went and obtained an illegal abortion. I was the one who admitted her [after the procedure went wrong]. I promised her at 12 midday on a Thursday that I would see her at 2 o'clock in theatre. That was the last time I spoke to her because, at half-past one, she collapsed. She had been bleeding heavily and been in a lot of pain. When they called me to come to the theatre, she was already under anaesthetic.

Continued: https://allafrica.com/stories/201809280059.html

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South Africa – The Gospel of Shame: How Christian groups thwart the right to abortion

The Gospel of Shame: How Christian groups thwart the right to abortion

21 Sep 2018
Pontsho Pilane

Are faith-based NGOs breaking the law when they refuse to give women information on where to terminate their pregnancies?

Lerato Molefe stares blankly at the sign erected in the yard in front of her. Her eyes are fixed on the blue silhouette drawing of two women with bulging bellies.

“FREE pregnancy test” ... “Information on OPTIONS”, the sign reads.

Continued: https://bhekisisa.org/article/2018-09-21-00-the-gospel-of-shame-how-christian-groups-thwart-the-right-to-abortion-south-africa

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South Africa: Parliament rejects ACDP’s abortion bill

Parliament rejects ACDP’s abortion bill
Health committee declares private members bill ‘undesirable’, but MP Cheryllyn Dudley says the debate has now been started

06 September 2018
Tamar Kahn

Parliament has rejected the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP Cheryllyn Dudley’s private members bill on abortion, which critics have seen as a thinly veiled attempt to roll back women’s hard-won rights to safely terminate unwanted pregnancies.

Until the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act came into effect in 1997, abortions were only available in SA under extremely limited conditions. They required the approval of two doctors who were not involved in the matter, and in some cases a magistrate or psychiatrist as well.

Continued: https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/2018-09-06-parliament-rejects-acdps-abortion-bill/

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

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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South Africa – MEC praises arrest of illegal abortion clinic owners

PICS: MEC praises arrest of illegal abortion clinic owners

Daily News / 22 February 2018
THOBEKA NGEMA

Durban - Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, KZN Health MEC has praised the arrest of illegal abortion owners following the court appearance of a couple who pleaded guilty for managing an illegal abortion clinic in Durban.

Dhlomo commended the police for arresting the couple who recently appeared in the Durban Regional Court for operating an abortion clinic on Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme (West) Street. The husband is a Ugandan national and his wife is South African, were arrested in December during a sting operation. They were charged with five counts of contravening sections of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act and are due for sentencing on 02 March 2018.

Continued: https://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/pics-mec-praises-arrest-of-illegal-abortion-clinic-owners-13411788

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South Africa: It’s Time to End the Stigma and Silence Around Abortion

Africa: It's Time to End the Stigma and Silence Around Abortion

Sep 28, 2017
By Marion Stevens

International Safe Abortion Day - celebrated every year on September 28 - marks a woman's fundamental reproductive right to access safe, legal abortion. For many women all over the world, this right, along with the right to access modern contraception, is essential for their maternal health, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and well-being. It allows women and couples the right to decide freely if and when to have children.

Especially for the many women who have unsupportable pregnancies, abortion is a vital yet normal medical procedure during their reproductive lives. When performed properly, abortion procedures are safe and can saves women's lives. However, unlike other reproductive health services, abortion is enveloped by stigma and silence, which leads to many women in South Africa lacking access to this crucial health service.

Continued at source: All Africa: http://allafrica.com/stories/201709280584.html

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South Africa: No Fetus Scan, No Abortion. Really?

South Africa: No Fetus Scan, No Abortion. Really?

Aug 8, 2017

Draft bill would, for instance, undo clauses in SA law that provide for abortions in some cases of extreme birth defects.

A proposed amendment to the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act would require that anyone seeking an abortion first undergo an ultrasound scan. In its draft bill, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) argues making this type of scan mandatory for abortion seekers will assist people to make "an informed choice".

Continued at source: All Africa: http://allafrica.com/stories/201708080318.html

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

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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