If you’re a woman living or working in Soweto, and have decided to have an abortion, it’s very important that you choose a legal abortion provider. Illegal clinics are easily found throughout the area, but they must be avoided at all costs, because they can put your health and even your life in danger.
Abortion is legal in South Africa, so you have no reason to visit an unsafe, illegal provider. Instead, you MUST choose a safe and legal abortion clinic, like Marie Stopes.
Here are our most frequently asked questions about our Soweto branch and how it can help women seeking to terminate a pregnancy.
1. Where is the Marie Stopes centre in Soweto located?
Marie Stopes Soweto is located at Shop 21 and 22, Black Chain Centre, Diepkloof, Zone 6.
2. How do I recognise an illegal abortion provider?
It is critical that you do not use an illegal abortion provider, as your health and even your life could be jeopardised. DO NOT USE any providers that:
- Supply abortion services outside the constraints of the law (after 20 weeks of pregnancy) or provide their services outside of public hospitals or other designated medical centres.
- Operate in unsafe areas and/or do not have a clinic (physical building).
- Have only a mobile number and offer to meet you on a street corner.
- Cannot give you their Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) registration number.
- Use dangerous methods such as injecting poisonous liquids into the womb, using objects intended to dislodge the foetus, or issuing tablets that are not prescribed by a doctor or registered nurse.
- Administer medical abortion (a process using tablets) after the ninth week of pregnancy.
- Do not perform a physical examination, do not take a client’s/patient’s medical history, and do not undertake a test/scan to confirm the stage of the pregnancy.
- Do not follow basic infection prevention steps, such as wearing latex gloves, having running water and clean linen, and having separate bins for medical waste disposal.
- Before the abortion, do not inform you of all your options for an unplanned pregnancy and offer counselling.
- Do not offer follow-up appointments and contact information in case complications or questions arise.
- Sell your medical abortion tablets over the internet without taking the required clinical precautions.
3. How do I recognise a legal abortion provider?
A legal abortion provider will always have:
- A trusted name or brand, like Marie Stopes, or be approved by the Department of Health.
- A landline telephone number and not just a cell phone number.
- A permanent physical address in clinical surroundings, and not be based on a street corner or in a private flat or house.
4. How do I know that it’s safe and legal to have an abortion at Marie Stopes?
Marie Stopes is a government-accredited provider and has been operating in South Africa since 1993. We are part of the Marie Stopes International Partnership (MSI) and we offer sexual and reproductive healthcare services in 37 different countries across the world. You can simply Google our name to find out more about the work we do in South Africa and all over the world.
Our centres are widely recognised for the quality of their clinical services and the confidential, non-judgemental, client-friendly approach offered by our doctors and nurses.
Marie Stopes South Africa also has a toll-free Client Services Centre number (0800 11 77 85) that is open to all women considering an abortion. Call us for information about our abortion services or for support after your termination, should you have any questions or concerns.
5. How can I contact Marie Stopes?
Call 0800 11 77 85 toll-free or visit mariestopes.org.za.
6. What do I do if I encounter an illegal provider?
You must inform the police so that these illegal providers cannot continue to endanger the lives of women seeking abortions. To report illegal abortion providers, contact your nearest South Africa Police Service (SAPS) or speak to someone at your provincial National Department of Health office. Marie Stopes South Africa is also actively notifying the authorities of illegal abortion providers.
Make the right choice when it comes to abortions and your health
Marie Stopes Soweto offers safe, legal and affordable abortions in a sterile environment. Our caring nurses will offer you the best possible advice, and they’ll support you in any decision you make – and it’s up to you whether you reveal your decision to anyone.