FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2020 | NEWS
If you haven’t heard of Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng—known popularly as Dr T—you have somehow missed her ubiquitous presence on radio, TV, social media and numerous other platforms. She’s a medical doctor, sex expert and health activist. She’s a member of the South Africa Commission on Gender Equality and was recently appointed as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. Dr. Mofokeng is also the author of A Guide to Sexual Health and Pleasure. She took time from her busy schedule to field some questions from Ipas.
Congratulations on your recent appointment as a UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health—and for being the first woman from Africa named to that post. What excites you most about this new role?
Abortion providers say self-managed abortions can give women more autonomy over their bodies, but access to this form of abortion remains limited in South Africa. Tiyese Jeranji looks at exactly what self-managed abortion entails.
By Tiyese Jeranji for Spotlight
24 August 2020
Though abortion has been legal in South Africa since 1996, many abortions still take place outside of formal health settings.
At a conference on abortion and reproductive justice in Makhanda in 2018, the Department of Social Development said between 52% and 58% of the estimated 260,000 abortions that take place in South Africa every year are illegal. The Guttmacher Institute (a research and policy organisation), estimates that 50% of abortions in South Africa take place in settings not regulated by the health sector.
Reproductive justice is about much more than the freedom to choose to terminate a pregnancy or not – it challenges systems of oppression and discrimination and calls for a focused action plan for law reform.
By Tlaleng Mofokeng
14 August 2020
Dignity, bodily integrity, equality, safety and security, and health – including reproductive health – are human rights.
States must work to ensure that all people, regardless of gender, age, immigration or documentation status, geography or class, are able to access life-affirming and comprehensive healthcare. No circumstances or interventions should lead to discrimination, obstruction of access to abortion, or complications or death due to unsafe procedures.
With abortion services becoming available through telemedicine and self-managed abortions increasingly gaining traction globally, the relevance and legality of abortion law should be questioned as women demand reproductive justice, and feminists get organising.
By Marion Stevens
14 August 2020
Abortion has always been legal in South Africa, a fact which may surprise many people. The colonial government introduced Roman-Dutch law, which allowed abortions to take place under certain conditions.
The Abortion and Sterilisation Act 2 of 1975 reserved access to abortion for white women, while increasing control over black women’s bodies – all within a population control framework. Under this act, approximately 1,000 white women accessed abortion every year, while the number of black women seeking abortions was not even recorded.
By Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng
July 14, 2020
Rose* traveled to three different health facilities in Gauteng province, in need of medical attention – she had already missed two periods, was uncertain if she was pregnant, and needed help right away. However, Rose left each clinic without a proper clinical examination, pregnancy confirmation, referral note, or even a proper medical history conversation. During one of these visits, she was sent away by a clerk, and during another, she was told the only nurse who performs abortions is on leave. But without access to proper care, Rose resorted to spending the little money she had on buying black market pills that promised a quick abortion, putting her at risk for hemorrhage, sepsis, and even death.
03 July 2020
Kgaladi Mphahlele, Doctors Without Borders
In 2015, MSF surveyed 800 women between the ages of 18 and 49 in Rustenburg and found that one in four women had been raped in her lifetime, yet fewer than 5 per cent of those women reported to a health care facility. Since then, MSF has run several sexual and reproductive health programs for the community— including for survivors of sexual violence— across Bojanala district, where Rustenburg is located, in partnership with local health authorities.
In addition to community outreach and health
education in more than 20 schools in the district, MSF supports four Kgomotso
Care Centers (KCC) providing sexual violence care.
SA to strive to further reduce child and maternal mortality: Mthembu
“We are confident that these interventions will ensure that we continue to place people at the centre of our developmental agenda,” Mthembu said.
Devdiscourse News Desk
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu says South Africa will continue working to improve access to reproductive health care services.
Speaking at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which is currently underway in Nairobi, Kenya, Mthembu said the newly completed five-year plan for the country's 6th democratic administration affirmed that South Africa will in the next five years continue to improve access to reproductive health services, including targeting adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights in order to address pregnancies and risky behavior.
Mthatha teen in court for allegedly forcing abortion after a break-up
The court will have to determine whether the teen was within her rights to abort the baby.
by Andile Sicetsha
An 18-year-old is expected to appear before the Mthatha Magistrate’s Court, in East London, for the murder of her unborn child.
What prompted the Mthatha teen to abort the baby?
According to police spokesperson, Captain Khaya Tonjeni, the teenager from Mthatha was placed under arrest, on Monday, after students from a college in the Eastern Cape town found a plastic bag containing a lifeless fetus in a campus residence bathroom.
Art exhibition highlights abortion stigma
27th September 2019
The Voices and Choices exhibition will put a spotlight on issues of abortion and reproductive justice in the country, as part of the #MybodyMychoice coalition campaign.
South Africans from different organisations and communities are expected to have a unique experience surrounding conversations about the stigma associated with abortion. The multimedia Voices and Choices exhibition is a collaboration of South African female artists under the curatorship of Mmabatho Montsho.
International Safe Abortion Day: The real cost of illegal abortions
This International Safe Abortion Day, Marie Stopes South Africa is calling for safe abortion services and care to be made available to every woman who wants it worldwide.
September 27, 2019
Across the globe, there are still 214 million women who currently have no reliable way of preventing an unintended pregnancy that could make them poorer, push their dreams beyond their reach forever, or threaten their health and life.
We’ve seen the transformational potential of family planning, and the positive changes that can happen in a woman’s life when she has control over her body and future. Contraception and safe abortion supports women to delay first pregnancy, space their pregnancies and avoid unsafe abortion, greatly reducing their risk of dying in pregnancy or childbirth.