Activist group vows to tear down 'unsafe abortion' posters in Johannesburg

29 August 2019 - 06:30 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
A group of activists has vowed to remove posters like this one and called on the Gauteng health department to offer abortions in clinics.
A group of activists has vowed to remove posters like this one and called on the Gauteng health department to offer abortions in clinics.
Image: via Flikr Mårten Janson via Flikr via Creative Commons/GroundUp

A group calling itself Sexual Reproductive Health For Your Information (#SRHFYI) vowed to take to the streets of Johannesburg on Thursday in an attempt to make abortions safer.

The group's goal is to remove posters promoting “unsafe” abortions. In a statement issued on Wednesday, it said it would march to Park Station and Hillbrow.

“As Women’s Month comes to a close, this is a reminder that no woman should have to die for making a choice that law and constitutional rights support. Abortion is healthcare and, therefore, a basic human right,” said Kanyisa Booi, one of the organisers.

“Science corroborates that abortions done by trained healthcare providers in a controlled environment are safe and do not compromise a woman’s quality of life beyond the procedure.

“Despite this fact, unsafe abortion is rife, particularly for marginalised communities of townships and rural areas. Walking anywhere in the streets of Gauteng, young girls and women are continuously confronted by flyers that claim 'pain-free' abortions,” Booi said.

She said the flyers were “deliberately” misleading and endangered women's lives.

“There seems to be no emergency to remove them from public spaces ... Poor access to [health] services and shortage of public health facilities performing abortion is a contributing factor to women going to these people who are not designated to offer this service,” she added.

The group called on the Gauteng health department to offer abortion services at the Hillbrow community healthcare centre.

“If one considers the high population density of Hillbrow and surrounding areas, and the number of sex workers who may need these services, there is a crisis,” Booi said.


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