Battle continues for women's right to safe (and stigma-free) abortions

It's been 20 years since the passing of the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Act, but yet not all women in South Africa have access to safe abortions.

The Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) says that many women still struggle to access this health service which is supposed to be their right under that law.

As a consequence, more than half of all termination of pregnancies (TOPs) carried out in this country are illegal (and often unsafe).

WLC lead attorney Jody Fredericks says that while South Africa's laws are very progressive, what is on paper does not translate to health practice and women's lived realities.

Fredericks explains that there is not enough information about TOPs, and many women have complained about maltreatment from healthcare practitioners.

This conflates the challenges to access, because TOPs are time sensitive procedures, advises Fredericks.

There are also those who deny women access to TOPs because of their conscience, thus violating the women's moral and legal choice.

TOPs in the public healthcare are free, but private services are costly and prohibitive for poorer women.

Journalist Joonji Mdyogolo has collected women's abortion stories as a part of larger series of work, and says abortion is highly pathologised subject matter, often linked to young black poor teenage girls.

She says that women of different, ages, races and upbringings have all experienced the stigma of what is a common social practice.

We might have moved progressively in terms of the law, but we haven't changed in terms of how we think about it.

Joonji Mdyogolo, journalist

Young people, married couples, religious leaders - people from all walks of life - want to remain anonymous because of the social stigma.

Mdyogolo advises that South Africans need to rethink the polarising binary discussion of 'pro-choice' vs 'pro-life'.

Read More
WATCH: Why parents should read to (and with) their kids

WATCH: Why parents should read to (and with) their kids

A panel of experts and advocates joined CapeTalk's Pippa Hudson, and a live studio audience, to discuss the importance of reading.

NPA's Oscar Pistorius appeal set for November

NPA's Oscar Pistorius appeal set for November

The National Prosecuting Authority will argue that Pistorius should have been handed the minimum term of 15 years behind bars.

Veteran dancers put on a show in aid of local charities

Veteran dancers put on a show in aid of local charities

Contemporary dance legend Adele Blank and her protégé, Yarisha Singh, will take to the stage with other veteran dancers for good.

Cape man in bid to become first South African to complete gruelling Oceans Seven

Cape man in bid to become first South African to complete gruelling Oceans Seven

Only seven people worldwide have completed the daunting Oceans Seven circuit, comprising of seven long-distance open water swims.

Cape taxi strike called off, Golden Arrow to operate limited service

Cape taxi strike called off, Golden Arrow to operate limited service

It's understood that taxi operators across the city will resume services after 2pm on Monday, reports EWN's Kevin Brandt.

[IN PICS] Cape's Zeitz MOCAA Museum a feast for the senses

[IN PICS] Cape's Zeitz MOCAA Museum a feast for the senses

CapeTalk's Pippa Hudson got a sneak preview of the The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa and it's definitely worth the hype.

Popular articles
Sasfin CEO opens up about dumping KPMG

Sasfin CEO opens up about dumping KPMG

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Sasfin CEO Roland Sassoon.

Sasfin Holdings cuts ties with KPMG after 18 years

Sasfin Holdings cuts ties with KPMG after 18 years

CEO of Sasfin Holdings Roland Sassoon confirmed that it has dropped KPMG as their auditing firm and put its audit up for tender.

The ANC is dying and Prince Mashele says South Africans have three other choices

The ANC is dying and Prince Mashele says South Africans have three other choices

Political analyst Prince Mashele says anyone who votes for the ANC is complicit in destroying South African society.

The psychology of spending money we don't have

The psychology of spending money we don't have

For over 20 years Prof Steven Burgess has researched the reasons why people live beyond their means.

SACP want NPA to reinstate corruption charges against Zuma

SACP want NPA to reinstate corruption charges against Zuma

Political analyst Karima Brown gives her take on the matter.

Signs your child could be suffering from anxiety

Signs your child could be suffering from anxiety

Counselling psychologist Nikole Seele says it is important to differentiate between healthy anxiety and debilitating anxiety.