By Daniel Itai – The Zimbabwe Daily

Windhoek, Namibia

Namibia is currently facing a shortage of contraceptives and this has prompted some members of the civil society to advocate for the legalization of abortion.

The Popular Democratic Movement Women’s League (PDMWL) feels the shortage of contraceptives in public health facilities across the country is life threatening. 

“This news is not only shocking and bad for the people of this country, but is life threatening because contraceptives are aimed at reducing unintended pregnancies and abortions, as well as facilitating family planning or spacing of births.

It is unacceptable that a country of more than two million people does not have enough contraceptives,” said Loide Iipinge, PDMWL’s secretary general.

However, human rights activist Rosa Namises said legalizing abortion would allow women to make decisions about their own bodies. 

“Women are given contraceptives, such as a chip in their bodies, but nobody properly explains the effects thereof on their bodies.

It would be a choice given to women and it would also be a health and safety measure to prevent backyard abortions.

I don’t think women will line up every six months to abort, because that is not what it means. It means a woman is given the opportunity to decide about the pregnancy,” said Namises.

Under Namibia’s Abortion and Sterilisation Act of 1975, abortions are illegal for women and girls, except in extreme cases such as rape, incest, or when the mother or child’s life is endangered.