Legalise long overdue safe abortions: local NGO

Phillipa Jaja

In the wake of illegal abortions leading to the sprouting of illegal abortions clinics in communities, mitigating the harm of unsafe abortion becomes the priority.

Legal abortion remains a safer option aided by expanding legal frames and reviewing stereotypes which leads to reducing stigma.

The futility of preventing unintended pregnancies still remains a national challenges.

Driven by a number of reasons such as unfaithfulness in marriage, teenage pregnancies down to economic hardships they will remain a permanent feature that begs for a change in perception.

And that perception should be grounded in enabling laws that recognise and make amends so that abortion related hazards are curbed.

It is in this light that a local civic organisation has called upon the government to amend restive laws contributing to illegal terminations arguing that they are actually pushing more women to partake in the act.

A local publication has revealed that underground abortion clinics are thriving in Zimbabwe.

Another publication described at lengthy experiencing backyard abortions through the eyes of “mambuya.”

Speaking to the Review & Mail, Women Action Group (WAG) programmes manager Fiona Tinarwo said, that legalising abortion was long overdue.

“These stories doing rounds in the mainstream are nothing new to us. This is actually something we knew along and come across frequently when carrying outreach programmes promoting safe abortion.

“All these stories are just proof that it is high time that there is promotion of safety regarding abortion incidences.

“What we stand by now is that government must loosen restrictive laws as they are acting contrary to intended interests by pushing many women to explore unsafe terminations,” she said.

Illegal abortions are not legal in Zimbabwe however it adopted the Maputo Protocol which it crafted to the termination of Pregnancy Act of 1977.

The law stipulates that to protect women’s health and reproductive rights, safe abortion should be authorized when continuing the pregnancy endangers the woman’s life; when her physical or mental health is threatened; when the pregnancy results from sexual assault, rape or incest; and when the fetus has a grave anomaly

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