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‘Teens using abortion as contraception’

Let's hope SA teen pregnancy statistics follow those of the UK and take a real drop soon. Picture: Lebohang Mashiloane

Let's hope SA teen pregnancy statistics follow those of the UK and take a real drop soon. Picture: Lebohang Mashiloane

Published Jul 29, 2013

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Kimberley - Girls as young as 16 are using abortion as a means of contraception, with some having up to three or more abortions a year.

This is according to the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, who was addressing the second national conference of the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) on Saturday in Kimberley.

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Motsoaledi said that effective family planning had died in clinics and young girls were not trying to prevent falling pregnant but were, instead, having abortions.

“The legalising of abortions in 1996 has opened a market for illegal abortion clinics which target young girls by advertising their services while doctors are not allowed to advertise abortions.”

He said that another danger was that girls as young as nine years old were starting to menstruate.

“These young girls are not being made aware of the dangers of pregnancy or the fact that even after a miscarriage or abortion they can fall pregnant again after six weeks.”

Referring to recent reports that the Pixley ka Seme District, in the Northern Cape, had exceeded its National Health Insurance (NHI) grant by spending 114 percent of it, even though it had not refurbished any hospital, Motsoaledi stated that he was not aware of the allegations.

The parliamentary portfolio committee on health said in the report that it was surprising that a district could use up its entire conditional grant without delivering a single hospital.

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Meanwhile, Motsoaledi said the new Kimberley Mental Hospital, where construction costs had escalated from R290-million to R1.8-billion, was a “horror story that should never have happened”.

“We believe that the people responsible will be punished. When I saw the report, I was shocked because no country should allow such gross negligence to happen,” Motsoaledi said.

“Whether the problem was with the departments of Health, Roads and Public Works or the private sector, all those responsible will be held accountable,” he said.

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Turning his attention to the banning of advertising on alcohol, Motsoaledi pointed out that while alcohol brought more than R19-billion into the economy, it was costing the government R39-billion to fight the effects of alcohol abuse.

“These adverts target young people and fighting alcohol is a battle but we know it is for the long-term benefit of society. We are not delaying the banning of alcohol adverts. For any law to be implemented, however, takes time.” - Diamond Fields Advertiser

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