Women who illegally abort and seek post abortion care and treatment at clinics and hospitals will no longer be reported to the police, a Government official has said. This comes at a time when Government intensifies its bid to reduce maternal complications.
Abortion is among the top five causes of maternal deaths.
Health and Child Welfare Minister Henry Madzorera, yesterday said medical staff were not mandated to report women who need post abortion care.
It is understood that 5,8 percent of maternal deaths in Zimbabwe were a result of abortion complications.
Minister Madzorera said women who abort or lose their pregnancies through miscarriage should immediately go for post abortion care to receive the necessary treatment.
"Every woman who has aborted and come for treatment will not be reported to the police because that is not our mandate," Minister Madzorera said.
"We treat everyone regardless of the circumstances of abortion. Health workers are not the policemen. All we want is to prevent death from hemorrhage, post abortal sepsis and other complications that may arise.
"Some people may end up with infertility for life, so we want to prevent women from suffering such consequences."
Minister Madzorera said health officials were only mandated to ask how the pregnancy would have been terminated to enable them to make a diagnosis.
Speaking at a media training workshop organised by Safaids recently, HIV and Aids Consultant, Ms Caroline Maposhere, said all women who abort in whatever circumstances were supposed to seek post abortion care.
She said the Maputo Plan of Action was meant to create opportunities for women who abort to be treated without hindrance.
The Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1977 makes it an offence for a woman to commit abortion.
There are several cases where an abortion can be legalised, such as rape, or when the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother or the unborn child.
In Zimbabwe, it is estimated that between 60 000 to 80 000 unsafe abortions are recorded every year.