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Entrenching democracy - giving meaning to reproductive choice in South Africa

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Entrenching democracy - giving meaning to reproductive choice in South Africa National Coucil of Provinces Meeting National Parliament, Cape Town – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Entrenching democracy - giving meaning to reproductive choice in South Africa


1
Entrenching democracy - giving meaning to
reproductive choice in South Africa
  • National Coucil of Provinces Meeting
  • National Parliament, Cape Town
  • 25 September 2001
  • REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS ALLIANCE

2
Structure of presentation
  • Introduction to the Reproductive Rights Alliance
  • Historical Overview - law
  • Oversight Hearing Report- June 2000
  • TEWS Analysis
  • Recommendations
  • Questions and Discussion

3
Reproductive Rights Alliance
  • National structure committed to the realization
    of reproductive choice for all human beings,
    particularly women.
  • Core business- a cohesive voice for a pro-choice
    perspective.
  • Cross range of health, reproductive health,
    womens rights and community based structures.
  • Established in 1995 - specifically to lobby for
    passing of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy
    Act.
  • Advocacy work- specifically in relation to
    access
  • advance
  • inform
  • defend
  • empower

4
Why the need for the law
  • Constitutional Framework - Bill of Rights.
  • Womens health.
  • International obligations
  • Democratization process.

5
Questions to think about
  • Why is access to safe, legal termination of
    pregnancy critical for the entrenchment of
    democracy in South Africa?
  • Based on your provincial experience, what are the
    key questions you would like answered?

6
National Abortion Strategic Plan
  • Partnership between National DOH and IPAS.
  • Process through which to address historic
    challenges to effective implementation of the
    Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act.
  • Consultative workshop - ongoing consultative
    process with respective stakeholders.

7
Vision articulated in Strategic Plan
  • Recognising the values of human dignity, the
    achievement of equality, the security of the
    person, non-racialism and non-sexism, and the
    advancement of human rights and freedoms which
    underlie a democratic South Africa, we believe
    that no woman should risk her life, her health,
    her future fertility, her well being or the well
    being of her family because of unwanted pregnancy
    and lack of reproductive health choices. In
    pursuit of our vision, an integrated, holistic
    approach takes into consideration the political,
    social and economic contexts within which women
    seek and are provided with TOP services.
  • Our vision is that every woman in South Africa
    shall have access to good quality termination of
    pregnancy services when faced with an unwanted
    pregnancy as well as access to other reproductive
    health services.

8
Goal as articulated by the plan
  • To provide acceptable, accessible, affordable,
    cost effective and user -friendly termination of
    pregnancy services for women with unwanted
    pregnancies as part of the reproductive health
    service programme and integrated into
    comprehensive health services, eventually
    reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies and
    the need for pregnancy termination.

9
Threats to effective TOP service delivery
  • Social - cultural religious context - leads to
    stigmization of service and health care providers
    involved in service provision.
  • Macro economic framework - cuts in social
    spending.
  • National Priorities - segmented approach to
    development.
  • Challenges to legislation.
  • Unequl gender power relations.

10
Enablers for effective TOP service delivery
  • Enabling legal framework
  • Constitution
  • Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act.
  • Free of charge service.
  • Vibrant pro-choice civil society.
  • Strong relationships between respective
    stakeholders.
  • Committed health care providers and management.
  • Support initiatives for health care providers.
  • Midwife training - decentralization

11
Weaknesses
  • Inadequate resource provision.
  • Lack of visible TOP, national leadership.
  • Weak management systems and processes.
  • Unsupportive, disabling institutional
    environments.

12
Strengths
  • Committed national and provincial management.
  • Committed service deliverers.
  • Government- civil society partnerships
  • monitoring
  • defense of legislation
  • IEC
  • Models of good practise.

13
Recommendations (1)
  • Provide an enabling supportive environment and
    infrastructure to ensure the availability,
    equitable access and appropriate delivery of a
    good quality TOP service.
  • Decentralize TOP service provision.
  • Provide adequate resources to meet nation wide
    demand for TOP services.
  • Defend the Act through meticulous practice and
    strategic partnerships.

14
Recommendations (2)
  • Support health care providers to provide quality
    TOP services.
  • Provide client-friendly quality TOP services.
  • Mainstream current and future TOP training for
    all health care providers into all existing
    clinical training programmes.
  • Forge visible leadership on TOP nationally.
  • Provide an enabling environment for minors
    access to TOP and related reproductive health
    services.
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