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.