When abortion was legalised in this country – after opposition from religious groups – it was legislated that termination could take place in normal circumstances only up to the 12th week of pregnancy.
Now a proposed amendment to the law would make it compulsory for a woman contemplating termination to undergo counselling beforehand and that sonar scans be taken of the foetus to confirm the stage of the pregnancy.
Opponents have expressed concern the counselling and scan process could be used to “scare” some women into opting out of termination. There is also concern that women in rural areas – where sonar scanners are scarce – could be prejudiced.
The amendment was proposed by the African Christian Democratic Party, which claims the new process might help spare women the trauma of regret after an abortion.
But what about the trauma of bringing another unwanted child into an impoverished community?
The abortion law has enabled tens of thousands of women to avoid that sort of trauma and, in many cases, enabled them to live a better life.
Abortion is never an easy decision and those considering it are already in a desperate position.
An amendment like this might only make that desperation, and anxiety, worse.