“Victoria Satchwell was desperate when she called the fifth pharmacist asking them to dispense abortion pills for an almost 10-week pregnant client. The woman is a 19-year-old rape victim living in Vredefort, a small farming town in the Free State. Over two days, Satchwell’s team spoke to four pharmacists and they all refused to dispense. Some cited moral reasons, while others simply said they don’t stock misoprostol.
“She was very close to the cut-off date, which is 10 weeks. So we called pharmacists and they told us they weren’t going to help for religious reasons”, says Satchwell.
TELE-HEALTH SERVICE FOR AT HOME ABORTION
She leads Abortion Support South Africa, a tele-abortion service launched in February 2023. The organisation provides online consultation for women seeking an abortion and connects them to a healthcare professional registered with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA). The healthcare professional assesses the woman’s situation and based on eligibility, prescribes abortion pills that have to be collected from a pharmacy, with a script….”