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Clinics battle stigma.

Although termination of pregnancy is legal in South Africa, the stigma associated with abortion still heavily afflicts both the women who exercise their right to take up that option and the nurses who provide the service. Natalie Bailey has been a nurse at the Marie Stopes clinic in Cape Town for nearly 2 years. One of the challenging things about working there is that 'everyone thinks that all we do are abortions,' she said. 'They are not aware of the other services we provide, such as HIV testing and counselling, family planning, pap smears, ultrasounds and now male circumcision.' Bailey said they face harsh judgements from both their clients and the public. 'Some people in the community call us murderers and ask us how we do what we do. Clients are also afraid of being seen coming in or walking out of the clinic. When we talk to them before or after their abortion they tell us to just provide them the services they came for so they can leave. They do not want to be seen here or be associated with us.'
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Title Annotation:South Africa
Author:Bateman, Chris
Publication:CME: Your SA Journal of CPD
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Nov 1, 2008
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