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Government remains pro-abortion, says Minister Dlamini

Sapa

The social development minister says there is insufficient evidence to support claims that "repeat abortions" are a large-scale problem in SA.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. (Paul Botes, M&G)

The ANC government will remain pro-abortion to enable women to make their own choices, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said on Tuesday.

“Where abortion is permitted on broad legal grounds, it is generally safe, and where it is highly restricted, it is typically unsafe,” Dlamini said in a statement. She was addressing delegates in Boksburg at an Ipas conference on 20 years of advancing access to safe abortions in South Africa. 

Ipas is a global non-profit organisation that works around the world to eliminate deaths and injuries from unsafe abortion and increase women’s ability to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights. 

Dlamini said there was insufficient evidence to support claims that “repeat abortions” were a large-scale problem. “In South Africa, we have reduced mortality and injuries related to unsafe abortion, but we have some serious issues that we need to address in relation to abortion,” she said. 

The ANC’s 1995 policy document made it clear that the constitutional principle in the Bill of Rights that sought to protect the right to life and dignity, should not be misconstrued as a means to block the right to abortion through enabling legislation, she said. – Sapa

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