MPs reject 'shock imagery' changes to abortion law
MPs have rejected a proposed bill by the African Christian Democratic Party that insists women who want an abortion must have ultrasounds first and undergo mandatory counselling‚ which could include making the woman look at pictures of foetuses.
This was shared by attorney Sanja Bornman on Wednesday:
The bill was written by MP Cherrylyn Dudley‚ under advice from conservative group Doctors for Life. It was opposed by the Treatment Action Campaign and Section 27.
The portfolio committee on health found‚ "There is a lack of conclusive evidence that the proposed amendments contained in the Bill will enhance the provision of care; the costs of providing the services as proposed by the Bill are prohibitive; and the proposed amendments in the Bill will present further barriers in accessing termination of pregnancy services."
Based on these reasons‚ the committee said it believes that the Bill "is not desirable at this stage".
However‚ it added‚ "the committee is also of the opinion that greater education and awareness campaigns as well as prevention programmes are needed to ensure that women are equipped with the necessary information in order to make informed decisions concerning their reproductive health and rights".
Dudley thanked MPs in the portfolio committee on health "for considering this bill concerning a topic which is clearly difficult and unpleasant for many of you - I assure you we share similar sentiments and feel your pain".
While she accepted the committee’s decision‚ she said in a statement: "As this is a subject of great public interest and a precedent has been set in this regard‚ I would like to request that the Motion of Desirability be debated in the House. . . To my constituents‚ I promise that if I am back in Parliament after the 2019 election I will continue these efforts to better protect mom’s and their babies in times of crisis."