Elna gets on her soapbox

For a recent story pitch our radio lecturer said to pick something we’re passionate about; pick someone we actually want to help. It sounds simple, but I really struggled finding something that really sparked my fancy. I ended up pitching a perfectly fine adult education story, which I’m sure will turn out quite nicely. But that’s not why I’m writing a ranting-style post today

soapbox zone
As I walked home after my lecture I saw something that made me enthusiastic… if by enthusiastic you mean bounce-off-the-walls angry.
“Safe and simple abortions, call now!”
I’d like to think few things make me truly livid, but these little poster plastered around town are enough to make me want to throw an anger-tantrum. Every one of those horridly designed, tacky ads (right next to the penis enlargement cream and love potion, of course) represents to me someone in this town who, for reasons I deeply grieve, feel they need to call that number.

Please note that this has nothing to do with the pro/contra choice debate and I have no interest in discussing the ethics of abortion here. All I’m saying is that if, for what ever reason and under who knows what pressures, a woman makes that choice, it should not have to be in this way, surely.

According to this article in the local paper there are alternatives, and going on that description of the processes offered by these posters, I find it hard to understand why they still exist at all.
Perhaps this is purely a question of avoiding the stigma and shame surrounding abortion, but if that is driving women to these back-alley and possibly dangerous means, that certainly doesn’t seem to solve anything in my eyes.

Maybe I’m missing some cultural or social complexity here, or just find it hard to believe the harshness of endangering others for financial gain. My point is simple however: in a society, even one as needy and diverse as ours, there should be no need or right for those posters to exist, and I wish we could do more to make that a reality.

**steps off soapbox**

I’ll be keeping the topic in my back pocket for a future story, when I can give it the attention it deserves. For now, if there is something you can do to help this sadness, I hope you do.
It’ll save me an anger-tantrum at very least.


pic by ruminatrix


2 thoughts on “Elna gets on her soapbox

  1. Hi Elna! It would have been helpful to post a picture of those posters or a screenshot of their homepage or whatever. So you claim that “save and simple abortion” is an ad for a back-ally surgery, right? Thats really gross, no question.
    And what puzzles me is that there is a target group for a campaign like this at all. I (living in germany) thought south africa has quite liberal abortion law. Perhaps you know more about who is adressed here, how women can get a really save abortion and if it’s related to any costs or other difficulties… Interesting topic, thanks for the input :-)

    • Hey Katha
      I didn’t have a pic of the posters, but will take one the next time I see them.
      No, as far as I know the ads are not for surgeries, but going by the info in the Grocotts article (see link in the post), it still seems like a scheme to me that may be dangerous. I would have to do more research to prove this and maybe some of those signs are fully legitimate, but it seems dodgy.
      That’s right, SA does have quite a liberal policy, and there are various safer methods available here, but I think the women who call those numbers are under extreme pressure to keep it as quiet and low-key as possible.
      Hopefully I’ll be able to delve into this more in the future. It definitely deserves attention!
      Thanks for commenting:)

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