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Unsafe Abortions
What is Unsafe Abortion?

Unsafe Abortion is the termination of an unwanted or an unplanned pregnancy by persons lacking proper skills and done in environment lacking the minimal medical standards.

Why do women resort to unsafe abortions?

Women resort to unsafe abortions due to various reasons including the following:

  • Not financially ready for the pregnancy and child rearing
  • Fear of discovery by family (dishonor, shame, disrespect) .
  • Family Planning method failure.
  • Deserted by partner
  • Pregnancy as a result of abuse e.g. rape, defilement, incest.
  • Pressure from family, peers and partners.
  • Fear of loss of opportunities e.g. education and employment. Lack of Information on available services and client rights to abortion
How Can I Prevent Unsafe Abortion?
  • Get information on prevention of unwanted pregnancy at the nearest health facility.
  • Consistent and correct use of reliable method of contraception.
  • In cases of abuse (rape, incest and defilement) consult the nearest health facility immediately for available services.
  • In case of contraceptive method failure (e.g. condom breakage, missed pills) contact nearest facility within 72 hours.
  • Get information on existing SRH services and abortion rights.
  • Delay sexual intercourse until you are over 21 years and you are financially independent.
What are the dangers of Unsafe Abortions?
  • Damaged pelvic organs e.g. womb, bladder, intestines leading to severe vaginal bleeding.
  • Hysterectomy (removal of womb) due to damaged womb.
  • Anaemia due to excessive bleeding.
  • Infection (fever and chills, bad smelling vaginal discharge).
  • Infertility (failure to have children).
  • A feeling of guilt may lead to depression.
  • Complications may lead to death.
When should I visit the clinic?

You should visit the clinic if you are experiencing:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Fever and chills
  • Lower abdominal palms
  • Smelly liquid or discharge from the vagina
  • Feeling nauseous or vomiting 
  • Dizziness
Personal Care after Abortion
  • Use sanitary pads (not toilet paper) and change every 2-3 hours.
  • Eat food rich in iron (e.g. vegetables and liver) and drink plenty water.
  • Take medication as advised and go for follow-up visits.
  • Avoid sexual intercourse for two weeks.
  • Start contraceptive methods as pregnancy may occur within a Week.
  • Seek Post Abortion Counseling.
Does Botswana Law Allow Abortions?

It is against the law to carry out an abortion In Botswana. Any person who carries out an abortion can be sentenced to a maximum of seven years. However, there are certain conditions whereby the law allows doctors to carry out an abortion within 16 weeks of pregnancy and these are;

  • Pregnancy as a result of rape, defilement or incest.
  • Pregnancy puts the life of mother at risk or may cause harm to her physical or mental health
  • The unborn child would suffer or later develop physical or mental abnormality
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