'Pills induce labour and the baby will come out dead'

My meeting with Lulu, the young woman who is illegally selling abortion pills to pregnant women, took less than 10 minutes.

Pretending to be desperate to get rid of my pregnancy, I called her last week to make an appointment.

I thought she would turn me down on hearing that I was seven months pregnant, but to my surprise she gladly confirmed the appointment.

She told me that for R400, my problem would be solved.

We met her at Baragwanath taxi rank in Soweto.

The exact location was not clear. She only told me where to find her once I got to the rank.

The meeting was at a petrol station. I watched as she dipped into her handbag for the "wonder" pills. I realised she meant business. Apart from asking where we got her phone number from, she didn't ask any more questions.

She didn't seem to care why we were asking so many questions. We could have been police officers, but that didn't seem to bother her.

Calmly Lulu explained how the pills worked.

"You will insert four inside your vagina and put one underneath your tongue. Don't eat or drink anything afterwards. After about two hours you will feel some pains, that will be the beginning of the abortion," she explained.

Pretending to be nervous, I asked if the process would not put my life at risk.

"Not at all, the pills will just induce labour and the baby will come out dead," she said.

"And what do I do with the dead baby?" I asked.

"You throw it away."