OUTRAGE over illicit abortions

GAUTENG health MEC Qedani Mahlangu has called on police to crack down on those performing illegal abortions as they are endangering the lives of many people.

GAUTENG health MEC Qedani Mahlangu has called on police to crack down on those performing illegal abortions as they are endangering the lives of many people.

She also warned women against resorting to illegal abortions.

Mahlangu was reacting to the Sowetan exposé yesterday on the booming illegal abortion business in Soweto.

Last Wednesday, a Sowetan team bought four gastric ulcers tablets from a woman called Lulu. She told Sowetan reporter Khanyisile Nkosi, who is seven months pregnant, that the cytotec pills - better known as misoprostol would induce labour resulting in an abortion.

Yesterday morning, Lulu was still hard at work, selling the pills at the Baragwanath taxi rank where she and her partners sell the illegal pills.

She confirmed another appointment with a woman who posed as a client. After establishing how far the pregnancy was, Lulu said she was happy to help. By mid-afternoon though, her cellphone was ringing unanswered. She told our team that the abortions cost between R200 and R750.

Mahlangu said: "Women wishing to terminate their pregnancies need to make use of government health facilities free of charge. Illegal termination of pregnancy poses a danger to expectant mothers. Taking the legal route is essential in maintaining both your reproductive health and preventing complications such as severe bleeding, tearing of the cervix, severe damage to the genitals and abdomen or even death."

Meanwhile, the ANC has called on the police to crack down on backstreet abortions.

"We are concerned about the sales of misoprostol in the streets of Soweto. We do not understand why people rush to street peddlers because abortion is legal in South Africa," said the party's provincial spokesperson Dumisa Ntuli.

"We call upon the South African Police Services to prevail upon these criminals. These street peddlers are a danger to society and those liable should face the full might of the law," Ntuli said.

Gauteng police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini promised to investigate the matter.

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