Are you planning to have an abortion? Better have a rethink because you might fall victim to quacks. A 32-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly pretending to be a medical doctor and performed abortions in Bloemfontein.
According to Free State police, the man was arrested when 10 women who had suffered serious complications after he performed abortions on them decided to open up.
The police who had for some time tried to hunt down the fake doctor, conducted a successful operation on Wednesday.
During the operation, a female police official posed as a potential client and made an appointment with the suspect.
Speaking on this, the free state police spokesperson, Captain Chaka Marope said the alleged bogus doctor provided the officer with a supply of five tablets to terminate her “pregnancy” and demanded a R500 payment upfront.
“The police members who kept observation in close vicinity acted swiftly and arrested the suspect shortly after the transaction was finalized.” he added.
The 32-year-old has been charged with contravening the Medical Act and was expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court soon.
Speaking of abortion in the country, global reproductive health group Marie Stopes International had two years back, put the figure of abortion in south Africa to 260000 a every year of which the group said they perform only a minute number.
Illegal abortion has among other crimes been a nightmare to the country with the health department fighting hard to curb the spread. It has been estimated to be between 52% and 58% of the total.
More so, Women’s health advocates have argued that illegal abortions in South Africa has been thriving in the country due to the poor public health services.
Despite progressive laws that ensure right to terminate a pregnancy, some experts say the health department is doing little to ensure that all women have access to adequate support and this they say, is forcing women to risk dangerous illegal abortions for fear of judgment and abuse.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi was however reported to have spoken on the issue saying the problem with the illegal providers is in the medication that they provide the women.
“It’s not being provided in the correct dosage, access to much bigger dosages which can lead to haemorrhaging, rupturing of the uterus, so it really is an extraordinarily dangerous procedure for women to go through,” she said.
“Women are aware of that and they are still willing to face their prospective dangers because of how afraid they are of the health sector to access a free but safe abortion.” she said.
Backstreet “medical abortions” are known for using fake drugs or quinine, usually used for malaria prevention, to induce an abortion.
Though south African government supports the right for woman to choose whether to terminate or keep a baby, women are advised to be aware of people who parade themselves as doctors. Go to an authorized hospital if you must!