IFP critical of abortion laws

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal has lashed out at the country's health authorities for failing to provide counselling to girls under the age of 18 who have abortions.

According to the health department, over 72000 minors had received an abortion across the nine provinces last year. The IFP said legislation that allows minors to go ahead with abortions without parental consent, leaves them traumatised.

Lionel Mtshali, pictured, the leader of the opposition, said healthcare providers should advise minors to consult with parents or guardians.

"The law does not provide any formal counselling in lieu of parental advice. There is no formal requirement that the health services should make counselling available to every girl about to have an abortion. In many cases these girls would not have informed parents of their decision and large numbers receive no support or advice of any kind," he said.

Leon Mbangwa, the provincial health department spokesman, said all girls who undergo an abortion do receive counselling.

"The abortion is carried out by registered practitioners. There is a process of consultation as well as counselling before and after the abortion."