Women often opt for traditional methods of carrying out abortions due to the lack of access to abortion services in rural areas, says Country Director of Ipas South Africa Judith Merckel.
Other reasons cited by Merckel, were health service providers actively trying to dissuade women from an abortion by the ascription of personhood to the foetus, the presentation of foetal imagery and the graphic descriptions of foetal development or outlining the risks associated with abortion.
She was doing a presentation during a Social Contexts and Advocacy session at the Abortion and Reproductive Justice Conference (ARJC): The Unfinished Revolution III, that is currently underway at the Rhodes University in Makhanda, Eastern Cape.
The Department of Social Development said Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights was identified as one of the population policy priorities for the 2014 to 2019 period.
“Work in this priority area should pay particular attention to the sexual and reproductive health and rights of the youth and adolescents, including easy and affordable access to appropriate and youth friendly services and facilities,” the department said.
The conference builds on the ongoing work under the leadership of the Inter-Ministerial Committee established by Cabinet to oversee implementation of the Population Policy, the National Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Framework Strategy as well as the coordination of the United Nations Population Fund Country Support Programme.
In 2015, Cabinet approved the National Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Framework Strategy (2014-2019). The strategy resonates with the vision of the Population Policy of South Africa (1998). – SAnews.gov.za