Illegal abortion can leave you scarred for life

A 29-year-old Potchefstroom woman is struggling to get over the traumatic experience she went through when she asked for help from an illegal abortionist.

A 29-year-old Potchefstroom woman is struggling to get over the traumatic experience she went through when she asked for help from an illegal abortionist.

Linda's (not her real name) nightmare began last year when she spent the night with a man she hardly knew. Five months later, she realised she was pregnant but was ashamed to go to the local clinic or hospital to terminate the pregnancy.

This is her story: I realised that I was pregnant when I missed my period for the second time in November and I was devastated.

I had just found a new job and I did not want to keep the baby conceived during a one-night stand.

At the time I did not feel like going to the hospital because it is a public place and people who knew me would see me.

I saw an advertisement in town about an abortion clinic that promised a "safe and pain-free" abortion.

I called the number and a man who called himself a doctor answered the phone. I told him that I needed help. He offered to pick me up. He took me to a small office where we spoke about why I wanted an abortion.

He did a test on me and told me I was five months pregnant. For R1200 he would terminate my pregnancy. He then gave me two pills to drink and pushed four into my vagina. He told me the foetus would come out at home. But nothing happened.

I went back a week later and he gave me the pills again. I passed out, and when I woke up the baby was gone. I was sent home and when I got there I began bleeding. I noticed that strings were hanging from my private parts.

I called him - but he did not answer.

I was alone and scared. I had fever blisters. I knew I was going to die and no one would know what had happened to me.

I had no choice but to go to the hospital. I was told that the placenta was stuck inside me and I was admitted for a week. The doctors saved my life.

I regret having unprotected sex and going to that (illegal abortion) clinic.

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