Teen held after DIY abortion

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

A 17-year-old schoolgirl is expected to appear in the Umlazi magistrate's court after she was caught trying to flush a foetus down the toilet.

The girl, who cannot be named to protect her identity, is a Grade 11 student in Umlazi, south of Durban.

Police could not say how far advanced the pregnancy was but said the foetus was semi-formed.

Police spokesman Khephu Ndlovu yesterday said the incident happened at the girl's home yesterday.

He said a friend of the girl alerted the police after she caught her in the toilet trying to flush away the foetus.

"When the police arrived they found the foetus, which had failed to flush away," Ndlovu said.

The teenager was arrested on the scene and is expected to appear in court soon.

Ndlovu said according to the girl she had been given tablets at the Prince Mshiyeni Hospital the previous day.

He said she had apparently received the pills to abort the pregnancy.

The KZN Network Against Violence to Women and Children blamed the hospital for prescribing abortion tablets to the teenager to take at home.

Koekie Edwards, the organisation's spokesman, said the girl would not have been arrested if hospitals were more sensitive when it comes to abortion.

"The fact that she was given the tablets to take home shows insensitivity," Edwards said. "Where does the hospital expect her to dispose of the foetus after aborting it at home?"

Edwards encouraged parents to speak to their children about the various precautions available to prevent pregnancies, which includes abstinence, and to talk to them about abortion.

"Children need to be educated about things like abortion now that it is legal. But young people should not use it as a form of contraceptive."