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Chomi Chat: Illegal providers - How to be on the lookout?

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Hey sis! I’m Tshidi, I’m Big Sis’s chomi - and yours!

And wow, do I have a story for you.

I have this amazing friend, Khanya, and she’s dating this guy who is actually pretty cool too. Anyway, they’re a really sweet couple, and they’ve been together for a while so I guess they decided to start having sex. But Khanya told me that they didn’t use a condom and that she got pregnant.

Now at first, I was like girl, you know you’re supposed to be having safe sex. But we all make mistakes right? I wasn’t going to hold it against her, because these things happen you know? I was just focused on making sure she felt okay because she was in a bit of a panic.

I made her some of my famous rooibos with lots of honey, and asked her straight up, “Babe, what do you want to do? Do you have a plan?

That’s when she told me she saw this poster at the bus stop advertising “cheap, pain-free abortions”. And I was like really? No cap? If nurses in a hospital can’t make an abortion pain-free, how is this doctor gonna do it? I wasn’t too happy about it because it sounded too good to be true. But, I’ll be honest, I was so curious! I wanted to see what the process was like and I’m always down to learn more, especially if it means I also get to support a friend.

But yho, yho, yho, these guys were shady. I had a bad feeling from the moment we turned into the road and started walking through the yard. And girl, I had questions! The place didn’t seem like a clinic… there wasn’t an official address on the poster, or a telephone number. On top of that, there weren't any nurses or doctors in uniform around. I thought that a nurse was supposed to ask questions about Khanya’s health before the abortion, but nobody came to ask. Like, wow. My girl has been through enough and now she has to sit here in the middle of who-knows-where?

I could see that Khanya also sensed something was wrong. There weren’t even any doctor’s certificates on the walls (and you know how doctors like to show those things off!) but eish, maybe that’s only at private clinics. I knew we had to do something because I started fearing for my chomi and her wellbeing. That’s when I remembered what Big Sis told me. According to Bis Sis neh, all doctors and nurses must be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. I wasn’t going to let anybody lie to my friend, so I asked the guy standing at the door, “Sorry uncle, before you start, I think you need to show me your registration papers.” And chomi, you should have seen the way this guy started acting. He knew that we caught him! Khanya quickly added, “I haven’t made up my mind yet. I’m leaving but I’ll call when I’m certain”. Yho and chomi, we were outta there!

The truth is, you have to be on the lookout for tsotsis who pretend to know what they’re doing. It’s your body, so it’s your rules, and you have a right to quality healthcare (in a real hospital or clinic!).

My advice?

Go to a public clinic or hospital, or Marie Stopes instead. They’ll provide you with real, safe abortion services. That’s what Khanya did, and you best believe I went along to boost her confidence!

Remember guys, an abortion should be safe and legal for your own health. And now you know what to look out for! I gotchu!

Tshidi