The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) today praised the efforts of a KwaZulu-Natal action group comprising public and private sector representatives who are working on a joint strategy to eradicate illegal abortion advertising on South African streets.
The group, which includes the KwaZulu Natal (KZN) Department of Health, local SAPS and municipalities, and an NGO which prefers to remain anonymous – hope to launch a pilot project which the rest of South Africa can follow.
ACDP Member of Parliament and the party’s spokesperson on health matters, Cheryllyn Dudley today said: “This combined action by government and society to rid our cities of illegal advertising, particularly the advertising of illegally performed back-street abortions, is very encouraging”.
“Earlier this year the police stated that the advertising of illegal and dangerous backstreet abortions isn’t their problem and that it is a matter for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), saying ‘it is similar to selling a car’.
“Freddy Makgato, head of legal and regulatory affairs at the ASA, was previously quoted as saying: ‘even though the authority had received a number of complaints about advertisements for these illegal services, they were unable to enforce any rulings they made on the matter’.”
Dudley said: “It is unacceptable that police and the Advertising Standards Authority are passing the buck rather than working together. By including and supporting groups such as the KwaZulu-Natal action group they could work towards a common goal and find solutions to stamp out this blatant disregard for authority, for the lives of pregnant women and girls, and the babies they are carrying.”