South Africa Officials Arrest Employees at Shoddy Illegal Abortion Center

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 14, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Africa Officials Arrest Employees at Shoddy Illegal Abortion Center Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 14,

Johannesburg, South Africa ( — Abortions are legal in South Africa, but officials there arrested eleven people on Friday who were involved in operating an illegal abortion center that subjected women to disgusting an unsanitary conditions. The centers conditions were so deplorable that local officials were amazed.

Officials say they stumbled upon the underground abortion facility when removing a glut of posters cluttering a certain section of the city. One of the posters included information promoting the abortion center to poor women.

Nthatisi Modingoane, a city representative, told the Citizen newspaper that officials phoned the illegal abortion center and posed as pregnant customers wanting abortions.

"On arrival they witnessed more infringements than what they were looking for," Modingoane said.

Modingoane said officials found assorted gynecological equipment and drugs used in abortions, but added that the conditions were filthy and some of the medical equipment not in use was placed on the floor.

He told the newspaper police also found boxes of unused drugs, used condoms, and blood-soiled clothing on the floor and on counters. Walls and floors were also stained in blood.

He said police managed to arrest eleven people when they raided the abortion center, but some of the staff there managed to escape. Two of the people arrested were in the nation illegally.

Modingoane also said the abortion business had paperwork showing a long list of customers.

“We hear they charge R250 per abortion. That is one of the reasons why young, desperate girls will run to these things and not check the credibility," he told The Citizen.

He visited the abortion center on Friday and said the building was dilapidated and he said he was "shocked" by what he saw and couldn’t eat afterwards.