“Pain-free, same day” abortions – as promised by posters throughout the Pretoria CBD – are putting women’s lives at risk.
“These abortions are performed by unskilled backstreet doctors who are creating more of a problem than anything else,” a doctor at the Women’s Choice clinic told Pretoria East Rekord.
The doctor, who wished to remain anonymous, said the posters were plastered on streetlamps, parking meters, and walls throughout the city centre.
“Women who want abortions are easily lured away from legitimate clinics by these backstreet abortion facilities because of their cheap prices.
“These bogus doctors charge R700 or less and make sure their prices are always low enough to lure victims.”
She said she did not use the term “victim” lightly.
“Many women later find out that the medication they were given to terminate their pregnancies did not work at all and that they were still pregnant.”
Some medication also had “gruesome complications”.
“You find that women suffer from blood poisoning during such abortions. This can lead to sepsis if untreated and could result in death.”
She said clinics often had to cope with women “drenched in blood” and “in a lot of pain” after using such backstreet abortion services.
“Many of the girls who had backstreet abortions and come to us for help are between 14 and 25 years old.”
The parents of such girls were often insensitive when faced with their child’s pregnancy dilemma.
“Parents must support them despite the situation.”
Local resident Vanessa Kgaditse said: “The police should track these people who put up the [posters] and have them arrested.”
She said backstreet abortions were unsafe and could have “side effects”.
“Some people simply do not have enough money,” she said.
Tshwane metro spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said all abortion, lost love, and penis-enlargement posters were affixed without the metro’s consent.
“The city’s outdoor advertising by-law clearly states that any signs visible from public spaces require our consent.”
He said such street posters and stickers were “illegal”.