Why Isn't There More Post-Abortion Recovery in Southern Africa?
A commenter to our list of forced abortions chimed in with this recently. (I changed some of the comment to further protect her anonymity)
It has been 7, long and hard years coping with the aftermath of one of the worst things that I had ever done, in my life. I sadly, have been victim to coercion of an abortion, by the father of the child, and his mother (whom I was living with at the time). I cried for YEARS after, till I finally broke down and told my Mom that I just was NOT coping anymore - Never mind the fact that I was promised support and never got a thing from the father or his family.I went to grab the links to the post-abortive recovery services anywhere near her area, and found--almost nothing.
This is a VERY real, and VERY serious matter that has not been considered properly, if you ask me, in terms of the legal rights people have to freedom of choice in this regard. No one gave me an option, no one approached me quietly to ask if I have been coerced. It all just happened so fast!!
When you're 18, out of home, promised things will be good, and even promised that abortion is a NO NO, should we ever fall pregnant given - And then fall pregnant only to be told "I'm not ready to be a father", "Now I have to choose between losing you, or having a baby", "I'm not ready to be a grandmother", "Think of what you will be doing to the people around you", "You're sick, probably a sign that this is the right choice because your baby will likely be deformed"... PLEASE, don't tell me that THAT does not have an impact on a young person in a crisis situation who is vulnerable to her authority.
My Mother sadly is one who got hurt immensely in that the father's mother didn't pick up the phone to call my Mom. Instead, she said that I, and everyone agreed we wouldn't tell my Mom. Fortunately, I have it in black and white from the time, that I did not want to abort my child. What woman in her 50's says that a 18 year old told her what to do? I think she knew well that that suited her. My Mom would never have allowed an abortion, which is why SHE said that we must then not tell her.
It is disgusting that people are getting away with this.
I now have two gorgeous, pigeon pair twins (natural) by the same father, whose mother again approached me implying I should consider aborting these ones as well.. And I stood so firm! NEVER AGAIN! - I'm 27 now (pregnant with twins at 24)
The father got cold feet when I was pregnant, and I have been raising them with the support of my family ever since.
He has made half baked attempts with a whole lot of talk, and oh- so little action - Where his family have not contributed a cent, or thing to the kids lives.
There should be a whole lot of emphasis and work in schools teaching girls about the choices that they make. These [forced/coerced abortion] testimonies serve a purpose, but they need to get out there, so that others can hopefully take from it and not be affected by the harsh reality of such a grown up decision, that even grown ups battle with.
I will FIGHT for my little one lost, but NEVER forgotten, and my two beautiful toddlers, now.
I'd love to get involved! -
Love from South Africa.
To my great shock and surprise.
So to our Anonymous from South Africa, this is my reply (both here and in that comments box):
Hey, welcome, South Africa!The best thing to get involved would be first to see about maybe attending a Rachel's Vineyard retreat for yourself, or some similar recovery service or group like we have in our sidebar, and then if you'd like to do more, volunteer to help at later retreats! I know a lot of women who've done just that.
Cameroon is a LOOONG way from where you are...well, I'll post it anyway for anyone who's reading and would benefit from knowing...
Rachel's Vineyard retreatsFor you, though, I'm trying to find anyone closer, like maybe Silent No More Awareness: they have tons of people in Uganda, and at least one coordinator in Nigeria.
Cameroon, Tiko, SWP
Local Host: New Era Clinic
Contact: Josephine Onuoha, 237-335-1482
Contact: Mrs. Josephine Onuoha, 237-984-4186 or firstname.lastname@example.org
That's still pretty far. But heck if you even wanted to become a regional coordinator for South Africa yourself, all you'd need do is contact Georgette Fourney at this email, Georgette@SilentNoMoreAwareness.org , and tell her Annie Banno of AfterAbortion blog, recommended you! (she's an old friend!)
I also found these websites, one by a woman in South Africa who also regrets, and by a SA counseling group which seems to have encountered post-abortion grief enough to have written an article about it that isn't too dated. Maybe the latter especially could be of some immediate assistance:
Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS) - by Johan Obbes and their counseling group is called Philippi Trust South Africa. They're located at 147 Main Road, Somerset West 7129, Tel: (021) 852 7659, I think that's in Cape Town, Western Cape.
Dianne Steven, a South African RN, registered midwife and counselor writes about men and their post abortion grief in this long, well-worth-reading article.
I found a quote by this GYN doctor on a PASS counseling training website, "Dr. Jon Larson, Gynaecologist, South Africa." Not sure if he's still in SA but worth a try to look him up?
This post-abortion recovery message board has a post from another woman from South Africa, as well as one from Tanzania.
This is a link to the early 2008 South African study published in the journal BMC Psychiatry that found that "women who have experienced abortion have high levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)" in some cases 61% higher as compared to before the abortion.
Then there's this fascinating transcript of a talk about post-abortion grief in men, given by a Brad Mattes, in South Africa, Oct. 5, 2001, not sure yet to which group, but it is a gripping speech. Ignore the typos and/or misspelled (misspoken?) words and read the content. "Sometimes age arrives alone," indeed.
Please let us know if any of the above may have helped? I know I'm late in responding, but I hope you're checking back to the blog, so you can know someone is listening and responding. Thanks for writing, we'll keep you in our prayers.
Annie, one of the co-bloggers.
Now, what about it?---to all the post-abortion recovery groups in the U.S. and in Europe? What about the southern parts of Africa? And probably other areas I haven't even tried to find out about yet? Anyone know of or thinking about starting any other post-abortion recovery resources in heretofore un-helped parts of the world we should be linking to for all our worldwide visitors here?Do drop us a line, if so, OR if you just want me to do some digging because someone's in need in a specific part of the world.
FOR PREGNANCY HELP:I found these groups:
Africa Cares for Life, Durban, South Africa, +27 31 903 2340
SA Cares For Life, Tanya Knollys, Tel no: +27 (0) 12 342 5720, Email: email@example.com , Website: www.sacares.net , 996 Park Street, Hatfield, Pretoria, South Africa
OPTIONS Care Centre is a pregnancy center in George, SA, that also appears to offer post-abortion recovery help in "one to one appointments and confidential small group weekend retreats." You don't even have to give them your name. Call "Zelda" at (Telephone in South Africa:) 044 8747414 (or from outside of South Africa: +27 44 8747414 ).
CHOICES Pregnancy Centre, PO Box 3486, Somerset West, 7130, Cape South Africa, tel & fax: 27 21 8526454 , email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Birthright of South Africa, 15 Essenpark 314 Essenwood Road, Durban 4001 South Africa, Tel. (031) 202-6528, Contact: Merrilyn de Gersigny, Nat'l Director
Alternatives Pregnancy Crisis Center, Contact: Wendy Heasley, P.O. Box 13441, Humewood,6013, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
New Life Centre, 3 Krige Street, BELLVILLE, South Africa, Phone: +(0)21 9451765, email: email@example.com
And in other parts of AFRICA:
The Comforter's Center Uganda, Address: P.O.BOX 35623, Kampala-Uganda, Tel: +256-312113635, +256-774-179786 ( Mobile)
Kitwe Pregnancy Center-Silent Voices, Po Box 22696,Kitwe ,Zambia.C/Africa, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Heartbeat International lists several country- or continent-oriented pregnancy center/life-affirming organizations, including some in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Italy, Canada and Australia, and here's one in the UK that can help with both crisis pregnancy and post-abortion counseling.
Connect Network: together for women and children at risk, South Africa, isn't strictly a pregnancy crisis center but they seem like the kind of group one could turn to in a crisis pregnancy, nonetheless.