Illegal abortion advertising in focus

2011-04-25 14:36

Polokwane - The Limpopo government is planning to clamp down on bogus doctors who use lampposts and perimeter walls to promote illegal abortions.

Provincial government spokesperson Tebatso Mabitsela said the decision was taken during an executive council (Exco) meeting held in Polokwane last week.

"Government will embark upon operations that will see the provincial government working together with municipalities to ensure that those who derive financial gain from these advertisements endure the full wrath of the law," said Mabitsela.

"The Exco expressed displeasure [about] the advertisements that are put on, among others, lampposts and perimeter walls to promote illegal abortion and adult-shop paraphernalia."

According to the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy (Top) Act 92 of 1996, as well as the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA), abortion advertisements in which a bogus doctors offer "affordable 100% guaranteed, fast, safe and pain-free abortions", are illegal.

Provincial health and social development spokesperson Joe Maile said not only the bogus doctor would be held liable for criminal prosecution, but anyone who helps them in the process.

Undercover work

"Any person who puts up posters or hands out pamphlets of these abortions or any woman who makes use of these abortions at unregistered facilities is an accomplice and liable to be criminally prosecuted," said Maile. "As far as we are concerned, only one clinic group, Marie Stopes, has been cleared by ASA to advertise safe and pain-free abortions."

Maile said Section 10 of the Top Act stipulates that any person who is caught performing an abortion whilst not qualified to do so in terms of the Top Act would face up to 10 years in jail.

"We are working closely with the law enforcement agencies and the health professional council to clamp down on these bogus doctors, as much that we even (go undercover) as patients," he added.

According to the Top Act, termination of pregnancies may only be performed at places approved by the Minister of Health. Such a facility should give access to medical and nursing staff, give access to an operating theatre and have appropriate surgical equipment.

The facility should also supply drugs for intravenous and intramuscular injection, have emergency resuscitation equipment and access to an emergency referral centre or facility and should have the official approval of a health MEC.

It also states that one is entitled to have a free abortion at a government hospital or clinic during the first three months of pregnancy.

  • Heks - 2011-04-25 19:06

    They have been advertising on lamp posts for years in a little town Newcastle in South Africa for abortions. It has been reported to their municipality but it does not stop. Glad that doesn't happen where I live

  • tryanything - 2011-04-25 20:47

    Wish dr bongo or whatever his name is would stop putting up his penis enlargement posters Jhb is full of them.

  • rob.blakey - 2011-04-26 08:01

    This is a small step in trying to reduce the murder of children.

  • Matt - 2011-04-26 08:43

    JHB CBD is full of such posters - the ultimate insult is one "clinic" who even puts a crucifix on its advert for unborn-child murder! Aborion is murder, no matter what reason people use to justify it, it is murder, plain and simple. People may object to this and promote "choice" but it's easy to do that - you've already been born...

      Mzungu - 2011-04-26 09:00

      I welcome the 'Murder' instead of another soul on this overloaded planet. And, in my mind, rather not born, than born unwanted.

      Matt - 2011-04-26 09:53

      @ Mzungu - what is "overloaded" ? You can fit the entire world population into Texas and they would each have 100 square metres. If we had governments who were committed to good, nobody would have to go hungry. Look at Europe, they have food mountains of food rotting away, because each country has a quota (restriction) on how much they can produce. No sir, we are not over-populated, that is a myth!

      Sizwe - 2011-04-26 10:40

      @Matt. Even the Nats understood that life is not that simple or black and white. There are many a consideration to be made for one to take such a drastic step as to terminate a pregnancy or even take the risk of not being able to fall pregnant again. If having a child means bringing it into abject poverty to suffer and struggle for a life time then I say it is kinder to terminate. If a pregnancy is by rape/forced intercourse there can never be any true blessing in that act, simply put it's a by-product of evil that you will never have to live through and to subject others to it is the worst kind of punishment a person can receive for being a victim. Unplanned pregnancies lead to dysfunctional families, and to say that has a link to social degradation and crime is an understatement. So no Matt its not plain and simple it's a complex issue that needs full consideration and is unlikely to be chosen for convenience, but the ramblings of your kind of morality which envisages an ideal world is dangerous, the answer is simply this is a world far from being ideal and its reflected by the choices people make everyday, go tell the parents whose daughter died in a botched backstreet abortion that it should not be legal and thus they can never have an alternative. When you start living in this world and not an idealised world you will realise how off your perception is.

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