Women and girls seeking abortions are often forced to seek informal, illegal, and unsafe abortions as a result of various systemic barriers. Khanyisa Mapipa, Sibusisiwe Ndlela, and Thokozile Mtsolongo look at the state of abortion services in the public sector in the Eastern Cape.
The new national clinical guidelines for the implementation of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act serve as an opportunity to strengthen services in providing much-needed clarity and guidance to health workers. Marion Stevens and Nozizwe Conco unpack these guidelines on International Safe Abortion Day.
Among several significant barriers to accessing abortion services, experts cite a lack of management support at health facilities, costs, fear of breach of confidentiality and stigma. Many of these barriers are compounded in rural areas. Tiyese Jeranji reports.
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 what exactly self-managed abortion entails.
With abortion services now available through telemedicine and the increasing practice of self-managed abortion, Marion Stevens asks if abortion law still has any relevance given these practices.
The COVID-19 pandemic and South Africa’s national lockdown has exacerbated existing challenges the LGBTQI+ community and sex workers experience in accessing sexual and reproductive healthcare services. Tiyese Jeranji reports.
Under COVID-19 lockdowns in South Africa and elsewhere, many public services have been interrupted, including sexual and reproductive health services. Thuthukile Mbatha considers the heavy toll these interruptions have taken on people’s lives.
Access to reproductive healthcare services is almost always time sensitive and not something that can simply be placed on hold because of the COVID-19 lockdown. It remains as important as always to provide services that reinforce women’s rights to dignity, autonomy and to access healthcare services, including reproductive healthcare services, writes Thuthukile Mbatha and Tendai Mafuma.
In South Africa women’s sexual and reproductive health rights are often glorified based on our progressive laws. The reality, however, is that women’s sexual and reproductive health rights are routinely undermined in the absence of accurate information on safe abortion services.