Women who have been forced to go without their usual birth control shot are now facing the consequences of months-long shortages. For many women in Rustenburg’s Bojanala Platinum District, Kgaladi Mphahlele is the first person they see after an abortion.
And one of the things they speak about is how to avoid seeing each other again.
Mphahlele works for the international humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders’ (MSF) and manages their termination of pregnancy programme in North West. There, he counsels women who have had abortions about ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the future by using contraception.
But for most of last year, Mphahlele couldn’t give women much of anything to avoid falling pregnant again — there were no contraceptives in the five clinics he manages.
Under South African law, a person can terminate a pregnancy for whatever reason for up to 12 weeks. A woman can also request an abortion between 13 and 20 weeks o