Zimbabwe to legalise abortion?

Published on 05 October 2014
Written by dailynews

Zimbabwe to legalise abortion?Zimbabwean government has been asked to amend the Termination of Pregnancy Act so abortion can become every woman's option.

Jimmy Wilford, Saywhat executive director, said abortion was a reality that Zimbabwe has to face.

"If you talk to doctors in confidence, they will tell you backyard abortions are a reality," Wilford said at a law reform meeting last week.

"Even official statistics show that abortions are happening all the time. Unfortunately, these are mostly unsafe and have repercussions. This could be one reason why our maternal mortality rates are high."

Unicef estimates that 70,000 illegal abortions take place in Zimbabwe every year.

Wilford said girls and women should be allowed the option to choose whether to keep or abort any pregnancy.

"The ministry of Health actually introduced post-abortion care. If you look closely, it is about taking care of those youths aborting in the backyard. What we need to do now is to accept and give them safe options. Even if we do not allow it, those who are doing it backyard are always coming back into the system for corrective therapy and are chewing a lot of tax-payers' money. We should rather keep the principle and relax the policy. In South Africa, for example, they still have a lot of young mothers despite the fact that abortion is allowed."

Sarudzai Njerere, a partner at Honey and Blackenberg, said the reproductive system of Zimbabwean women is currently being treated like State property.

"Do we want children raising other children, because unwanted pregnancies are a fact? Are women uteruses publicly-listed entities? But the State thinks it does own them. It is said that although the Act has been amended six times, it was only to deal with penalties," she said.

Geoff Feltoe, a law professor, said the Act is a pre-independence law which provides for a very limited scope for termination of pregnancy in the modern world.

Sara Moyo, Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA) board chairperson, while concurring on the need to extend the Act, admitted that abortion is a controversial subject in Zimbabwe.

"The issue happens to be an emotional one, touching at the core of our values but given what is happening on the ground, some of the cases we relate to, we need to relax the law," she said.

Moyo expressed concern over several procedural barriers experienced by rape victims in seeking the legal right to terminate pregnancies from such occurrences.

She suggested that the Zimbabwe Republic Police rape desk should operate 24 hours while government needs to make services available everywhere.

"Sexual violence does not occur during working hours only. It happens round the clock and victims should enjoy their legal right to terminate and not be forced to conceive a child of a rapist," she said in apparent reference to Mildred Mapingure's case.

"Also, there are victims who may prefer and can afford to go the private route, but there are no known private sector institutions doing that at the moment."



+2 # Sekuru 2014-10-06 02:19
God forbid wooo
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+1 # BoyConda 2014-10-06 08:44
Quoting Sekuru:
God forbid wooo

Quoting Sekuru:
God forbid wooo

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Mr S
0 # Mr S 2014-10-06 02:20
Mwari pindirai
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+1 # Alfodeeh 2014-10-06 07:00
No no no,God help us
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0 # Fatso 2014-10-06 11:07
Mwari honai vakadzi vaye vatanga futi,votoona vachiti kuuraya ngazvive pamutemo wotoshaya kuti how far
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0 # Fatso 2014-10-06 11:15
I think rape victims should be the only ones allowed to abort and those which the pregnacy have complications
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0 # Brainbox 2014-10-06 11:21
Tusikana twakuzotumburwa madiro siku nesikati manje. Abortion is murder period. First you hit us with an irresponsible advert saying Circumcision reduces HIV by 60%, boys get cut and proceed to have sexual relations with confidence and end up infected, now you advocate abortion, thats bull. Nyika yakuenda kumawere. Irresponsible indeed
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+1 # fatso 2014-10-06 11:26
abortion is murder you psychos!!! geez!!!
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0 # mthombenidabuka 2014-10-06 15:14
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ginger brown
0 # ginger brown 2014-10-06 15:58
Abortion should hv been legalised long back, PERIOD!!!! This is 21st Century, woke up from r deep slumber zimboz
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0 # Brainbox 2014-10-06 16:21
Aaa inhoma yekuda nyoro uchiziva kuti unobvisa. Hazvizoda kunozogara kwakashama ukaita basa rebvisa nhumbu
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0 # Fatso 2014-10-06 21:53
1st century my foot ,ndimi type inoitisa mwana wawakazvara nhumbu nxuuu
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0 # masese 2014-10-07 06:11
mwari woye zim haizozvigoni kuti ebola aids nearbortion kushaya US dollar
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