Abortions 'prohibitively expensive' if bill becomes law
African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP Cheryllyn Dudley’s private members bill on abortion hit another stumbling block on Wednesday‚ as the Department of Health urged MPs to reject it.
The bill’s proposals‚ if implemented‚ would be prohibitively expensive and make it harder for women to safely terminate unwanted pregnancies‚ said Yogan Pillay‚ the health department’s deputy director-general for HIV/AIDS‚ TB and maternal‚ child and women’s health.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had advised the health department that the conditions the bill attached to obtaining abortions were not evidence based and were at odds with WHO guidelines on abortion‚ said Pillay.
The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill was tabled in Parliament in December. It proposes showing a woman ultrasound images of her foetus before all abortions‚ mandatory counselling before and after abortions‚ and introduces a requirement that for abortions between 13 and 20 weeks‚ a social worker and a doctor must agree that the pregnancy would significantly affect the socioeconomic circumstances of the women.