Abortion has become cancerous in our societies and it is claiming thousands of lives of young women in Zimbabwe.
Thousands of desperate young women are turning to unqualified medical practitioners as well as herbalists for termination of pregnancy; however in many cases they face fatal results.
Recently in Zengeza a young woman known as Fortunate died during an apparent botched abortion leaving a trail of pain to her family and loved ones.
Talking to Chitownews a girl identified as Fortunate’s sister said “My sister fell in love with a married man who impregnated her and later denied responsibility of the pregnancy. This led my sister to consult the herbalist who gave her concoctions meant to terminate the pregnancy.”
“After taking the concoctions my sister’s private later excreted a green-like fluid and she also lost a lot of blood and become weak which led to her death” narrated the sister.
Tatenda a college student from Seke narrated to Chitownews how she nearly died after terminating pregnant.
“When I discovered that I was pregnant I thought that all my dreams were shattered as I was not yet ready to be a mother, I wanted to further my studies. I approached a traditional healer who gave me concoctions to drink in an effort to induce abortion of the six-week-old pregnancy,” said Tatenda.
“After taking the concoctions I started to feel intense pain in my womb and I later started to bleed. I bled until I was unconscious and I recall waking up in hospital. I am very lucky to be alive today” she said.
These are not isolated cases, a report by the UNCEF states more than 70 00 illegal abortions are carried out in the country every year, with Zimbabwean women running a 200 times greater risk of dying of abortion complications than their counterparts in South Africa, where the procedure is legal.
Abortion has many risks in the lives of women who may suffer serious health problems the rest of their lives.
A medical health practioner at Chitungwiza hospital who chose to remain anonymous said “women face serious complications in late term abortions and expose themselves to serious health risks”.
“In other cases a woman may never be able to have children because of the faulty termination of an unwanted pregnancy” said the doctor.
Talking to Chitownews Mrs Dephinate Mverechena the founder of Tinevimbo Foundation said “The increase in number of child abuse cases and early sexual debut among young women leaves the young women at high risk of unwanted pregnancies and abortion”.
“There is a need for the government to ensure that young people have access to quality and affordable reproductive health services” she added.
Abortion in Zimbabwe is illegal, with few exceptional and limited circumstances where abortion is legally permitted as provided for under the Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1977 [Chapter15:10],