10 April 2018

South Africa: Slice of Life - 'I Shared My Abortion Experience On Facebook and It Went Viral'

Photo: umuziphotoclub.blogspot.com
(File photo).

I remember looking at the white ceiling while lying down on the hospital-like bed. My legs were wide open. The two women working on me were talking about their boyfriends. The unbearable pain prompted me to scream, but my cries fell on deaf ears. Instead, my yells were met with emotionless expressions. Cold faces.

The process was so painful that whenever I think about that day, I still feel the pain.

Only I was not in an actual hospital. I was in a dirty flat where I was having an abortion at an illegal provider.

Next to my bed was a bucket filled with the remains of the fetus of the person who laid here before me.

One day I felt the need to share my experience. I wanted the world to know the pain and consequences of an illegal abortion. So I shared my experience on Facebook.

My post went viral, and many women and girls flooded my inbox with their experiences. They voiced their fears, loneliness and desperation. Some simply thanked me for "coming out".

I then created a group called Black Womxn Healing Garden. It's a haven where we share our pain and help women who need to access a safe abortion. Termination of pregnancy is a right that every woman should have, just like everybody else has the right to the autonomy of their bodies.

On that day, in that illegal abortion clinic, on that bed, I could have died. Many women probably do die.

It's important that we give women and girls access to the information they need. They are still the most vulnerable people in our society.

Abortions are legal in South Africa. You can terminate your pregnancy safely. Back then, I didn't know this. - Gaopalelwe Phalaetsile, the founder of the Black Womxn Healing Garden, as told to Nelisiwe Msomi

Have something to say? Tweet or Facebook us on @Bhekisisa_MG

South Africa

When Malaria is Just Part of Growing Up

Growing up in West or Central Africa, malaria is the most common illness you suffer from. I would say, where I lived… Read more »

Copyright © 2018 Bhekisisa. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.