Jacques de Vos, 32 Photo: Phando Jikelo African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - More than 20000 people have signed an online petition in support of Jacques de Vos, a former 2 Military Hospital doctor, charged before the Health Professions Council of South Africa for advising that abortion is the killing of an unborn human being.

The petition, on the CitizenGo platform, demands that the council stop its “persecution” of De Vos, and quotes the US Department of Health and Human Services’ 2018 to 2022 plan that states “life begins at conception and deserves protection” as being a scientific fact.

“De Vos has the right to freedom of conscience and religious belief and should not be coerced to sign up to the culture of death mentality that ludicrously and ignorantly claims that human life does not begin at conception,” reads the petition.

The doctor had been scheduled to appear before the council at the Southern Sun, Newlands, this morning after the matter was postponed in August to allow the prosecutor of the case time to furnish the doctor’s legal team with all the necessary information they need to prepare their defence, but the matter has now been postponed again.

Priscilla Sekhonyana, communications manager for corporate affairs with the council, said on Tuesday: “The matter will be heard on October 28.”

De Vos is represented by Keith Matthee SC, who is appearing pro bono, with Martus de Wet and Khotso Modise of De Wet Wepener Inc, a Free State law firm.

The doctor, a member of pro-life group Doctors For Life International, has been barred from practising as a physician for two years, since the complaint was lodged.

@MwangiGithahu

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Cape Argus