South Africa – The challenges of accessing abortion clinics

Published Oct 19, 2022

Johannesburg - Pregnancy can be an exhilarating time for many while for others, it sinks them deep into depression, with the children at times unwanted.

For those women who feel they are not ready for the responsibility that comes with parenting, abortion becomes the only option or at times, the only solution.

Continued: https://www.iol.co.za/sundayindependent/news/africa/the-challenges-of-accessing-abortion-clinics-81eeb901-e5d7-4f18-bb28-1406d62329d1


Telemedicine increases access to safe abortion care

28 SEPTEMBER 2022
NIÉMAH DAVIDS

Ground-breaking research into accessing safe abortion services in South Africa has revealed that telemedicine abortion is safe and effective, and a viable alternative to the conventional medical procedure, especially for women in under-resourced settings.

Scientists drew these and other conclusions after completing the world’s first randomised control trial (RCT) into the efficacy of telemedicine abortion – a medication-based abortion that generally relies on a two-drug combination and is aimed at women in their first trimester. The study was a joint collaboration between academics at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the Karolinska Institutet – a research-led medical university in Stockholm, Sweden.

Continued: https://www.news.uct.ac.za/article/-2022-09-28-telemedicine-increases-access-to-safe-abortion-care


Dobbs v Jackson judgment in US may stifle women’s reproductive rights as far afield as Africa

Women have a right to an abortion in South Africa that is protected by the Constitution. Yet of the 3,880 health facilities in South Africa, less than 7% provide access to abortion services, and of the 505 medical facilities specifically designated to provide the service, an estimation of only 197 are currently operational.

By Sibusisiwe Ndlela, Charlemaine Husselmann and Primah Kwagala
21 Aug 2022

Recognition of a right to abortion is often the first step towards creating an enabling environment for women to access abortions but in some countries in east and southern Africa, argue the authors, the outcome of the US case may put brakes on little sparks of hope that emerged in recent years.

The right to abortion has been catapulted into the spotlight by Dobbs v Jackson, the landmark judgment of the United States (US) Supreme Court that overturned Roe v Wade — a 50-year-old precedent of that court that first recognised the constitutional right to abortion in the US.

Continued: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2022-08-21-dobbs-v-jackson-judgment-may-further-stifle-womens-reproductive-rights-as-far-afield-as-africa/


South Africa – 64,000 women still die every year as a result of backstreet abortions

Since November 1996 women legally have the right to access abortion in South Africa up to the 20th week of pregnancy.

By Dr Dulcy Rakumakoe
20 Jun 2022

In South Africa, a woman of any age can get an abortion by simply requesting with no reasons given if she is less than 13 weeks pregnant.

If she is between 13 and 20 weeks pregnant, she can get the abortion if:

  • Her own physical or mental health is at
    stake
  • The baby will have severe mental or
    physical abnormalities
  • She is pregnant because of incest
  • She is pregnant because of rape
  • She is of the personal opinion that her
    economic or social situation is sufficient reason for the termination of
    pregnancy.
  • If she is more than 20 weeks pregnant,
    she can get the abortion only if she or the foetus’ life is in danger or
    there are likely to be serious birth defects.

Continued: https://www.citizen.co.za/lifestyle/health/3124746/64000-women-still-die-every-year-backstreet-abortions/


South Africa – When all else fails: Why people opt for backstreet abortions

Mohale Moloi & Yolanda Mdzeke
8 Jun 2022

Waiting for the bus? Chances are you will see an advert promising “cheap, fast, pain-free abortions”. Browsing through your local paper’s classifieds you might well spot a similar ad there. Going online? The adverts for abortion services frequently pop up there, too.

But these ads are usually not for legitimate abortions despite abortions having been legal in South Africa since 1996.

Continued: https://mg.co.za/health/2022-06-08-when-all-else-fails-why-people-opt-for-backstreet-abortions/


South Africa – Fake abortion providers are online too. Here’s how to spot them

By Mohale Moloi and Yolanda Mdzeke
April 13, 2022
Video: 3:22 minutes

Abortion has been legal in South Africa for
more than 25 years. Yet illegal providers continue to put people’s lives at
risk. Dubious providers can exploit platforms like Google Search and Facebook
to advertise their services. Tshinondiwa Ramaite from the reproductive health
organisation, Ipas, explains how to spot ads from a bogus clinic.

Continued: https://bhekisisa.org/multimedia/2022-04-13-fake-abortion-providers-are-online-too-heres-how-to-spot-them/


South Africa: One Second-Trimester Public Abortion Facility in the Entire Eastern Cape Is Not Good Enough

1 APRIL 2022
By Sibusisiwe Ndlela, Khanyisa Mapipa and Thokozile Mtsolongo

Second-trimester abortions, which occur between the beginning of the 13th and the end of the 20th week of pregnancy, are difficult to access in the public sector. This is mainly due to the lack of designated abortion facilities and the unavailability of abortion providers to provide the service.

Based on our work in the Eastern Cape, we found that these issues prevent women from accessing a second-trimester abortion in the public health system. Out of sheer desperation, some vulnerable women carrying unwanted pregnancies may resort to unsafe and illegal abortion providers.

Continued: https://allafrica.com/stories/202204010233.html


South Africa: Abortion Access in Eastern Cape Falls Far Short

11 MARCH 2022
By Khanyisa Mapipa, Sibusisiwe Ndlela and Thokozile Mtsolongo

Following the publication of an article by GroundUp News on 21 October 2021, titled "Pregnant Women queue all night outside abortion clinic", we followed up to determine the state of abortion services offered by the Eastern Cape Department of Health.

We visited Mthatha Gateway Clinic (the clinic mentioned in the GroundUp article), spoke to a number of women seeking abortion services at the clinic, and we called facilities designated by the provincial health department as abortion service providers to verify that these services are, in fact, provided.

Continued: https://allafrica.com/stories/202203110764.html


South Africa: Open Letter – It Takes More Than a March to Remedy Systemic Challenges to Abortion Access

4 MARCH 2022
By Sibusisiwe Ndlela, Khanyisa Mapipa and Thokozile Mtsolongo

The below is an open letter addressed to South Africa's Deputy Minister of Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo written by Sibusiwe Ndlela, Khanyisa Mapipa and Thokozile Mtsolongo, all of public interest law centre SECTION27.

Dear Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo
Your "Anti-Unsafe Termination of Pregnancy" march held on 17 February 2022 in Rustenburg, North West refers.

A march, in and of itself, cannot eliminate barriers that prevent women and girls from accessing safe abortions in the public health system. This is why we see this march, led by someone who has the power to eliminate many of those barriers, as a disingenuous attempt by the Department of Health to cover its failure to make meaningful steps towards the realisation of women's and girls' right to abortion.

Continued: https://allafrica.com/stories/202203050113.html


In Memoriam – Eddie Mhlanga: a doctor and a friend with the biggest smile and the warmest heart in the world

by Marge Berer
ICWRSA Newsletter
11 February 2022

It is with great sadness that we report that Eddie Mhlanga, professor, policymaker, obstetrician-gynaecologist, abortion provider, passionate advocate for public health and women’s health and rights, and much loved colleague, died on 5 February 2022 after a short illness. He was only age 68. 

Here are some excerpts from published articles by and about him, about his professional life and his enormous contributions to women’s health care in South Africa. 

Continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/11-feb-2022?e=372dd34034