Woman Abused at Cape Town Abortion Clinic - 15 January 2008

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A woman was told she was “imagining [her] pain” and was not given sufficient medical treatment after having an abortion at a prominent abortion provider’s clinic in Cape Town on 27 December last year. This reported incident is yet another example of inadequate medical assistance at abortion clinics around South Africa. The Christian Action Network has received shocking reports of abuse at abortuaries.

“The worst experience of my life”

Miranda September* described having an abortion as the “worst experience of my life.” “I woke up being shaken in the recovery room, screaming my head off, in the worst pain ever. Then I was told I can’t have such severe pain, I'm imagining it!”

The nurses attempted to take her blood pressure, but were unsure how to proceed after the blood pressure measurement apparatus did not work. They decided to give her a drip for a short while, but found it was not working properly either. She was then sent home.

She then experienced significant bleeding, and returned to the clinic the next day, but was not attended to as the nurses were now on leave. She was told to come back at a later date. She also noted large bruises on her hand where the drip had been inserted. There was also a large bruise on her chest.

The woman also complained to the Christian Action Network that her partner was not allowed to join her during the consultation prior to the abortion, despite being told that this is allowed in the clinic’s advertising.

Another woman who had an abortion at a clinic in Pretoria complained of similar treatment. She reported, “I was sent home with pain tablets. A week later I was still bleeding. I then rushed back to the clinic. The doctor was not there and the nurse took it upon herself to do another procedure, this time without a sedative. I thought I was going to die from the pain. I remember shouting out from the pain and the nurse’s assistant put her hand over my mouth. She told me to shut up. I cringe when I think of that day.”

In September 2006, a woman was awarded R500 000 in damages by a Pretoria Court because of a botched abortion at a clinic which resulted in an emergency hysterectomy, and left her unable to bear any more children.

The abortion provider advertises on their wall outside their clinic that they offer “safe and pain free” abortions. Several years ago the Christian Action Network challenged this claim with the Advertising Standards Authority. However, the case was unsuccessful as it was deemed that the “constitutional right” to an abortion outweighed such concerns for integrity in advertising.

The International Co-ordinator of the Christian Action Network Taryn Hodgson commented, “Considering the fact that they are murdering innocent pre-born babies everyday, it is no wonder that the staff at abortion clinics treat their women patients so callously.”

The Network encourages women who have received similar inadequate treatment at abortion clinics to report their experiences to the Health Professions Council.

The Network believes that there are probably many other such as cases but that few are reported due to the shame associated with abortion.

These incidences again highlight the need for women to receive adequate counseling in which all the risks (both physical and psychological) are explained in the counseling session prior to the abortion.

This was one of the concerns highlighted by the Network in their submission to the Health Portfolio Committee on the Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Act. The National Assembly is due to vote on the Bill this week Thursday (17 January).

"If the Bill again goes through without any changes that have been recommended by pro-life groups, it will make a farce of the public hearings,” says Hodgson.

 Abortion is never safe or pain free. It leaves one dead and one wounded.

*Miranda September (not her real name) can be contacted on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 083 765 4883 for comment.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” Proverbs 31:8

 Christian Action Network members have been campaigning for the right to life of pre-born babies since 1991.

 CONTACT: International Co-ordinator of the Christian Action Network, Taryn Hodgson on 072 215 4801 or 021-689 4480, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa [email protected] - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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