By Dineo Mokwena
After launching an SMS platform March 2017, Fem is now launching an online map that features all abortion providers verified by our team
Since the liberalisation of the abortion law in South Africa in 1996, it’s estimated that mortality rates due to abortion have decreased by 91%. However, about 50% of abortions in South Africa continue to occur outside of designated health facilities, risking the lives of thousands of women (source: Heard).
The reason illegal facilities are still succeeding at such high rates are multiple. The stigma still attached to abortion, the lack of education on the legalities of abortion as well as the low rates of early pregnancy detection are some of the causes. Over and above this, the illegal abortion providers are easily accessible due to their aggressive advertising strategies on the streets.
Fem was created to combat the lack of access to safe and legal abortion services in South Africa, more specifically to target the women who cannot afford private health care. What started as an SMS service only on March 2017, has now evolved to an online platform where women have geolocated information on safe and legal abortion services in their area.
Our “Find a Provider” tool is a map of all service providers that have been verified by our team. Both public and private sector facilities are included after they’ve gone through our verification process, which includes visits in person from our staff. Among our criteria are not only the cleanliness and the infrastructure of the facility, but also the attitude of the health workers and the satisfaction of our users, who are invited to share their feedback after they’ve received the treatment…
Fem: Connecting you to sexual health choices
Fem supports the right of every woman to make safe and informed decisions about her body, most specifically the decision to have an abortion. We focus on the practical issues that are often overlooked by existing healthcare systems: privacy, transparency, convenience, cost and supportive environments. Fem is a tool that leverages popular technology channels to remove obstacles between women and their decisions.
To access all our products SMS for free the word “Fem” to 30705 or access fem.safe2choose.org
For more information please contact:
Dineo Mokwena – Fem Communications Officer