SEVENTY thousand people in Namibia have signed a petition imploring the government to remove the archaic abortion laws in Namibia.
Crowds of people marched from Katutura State Hospital to Windhoek Zoo on Saturday to garner even more support for their campaign to legalize abortion.
One of the organizers of the march, Beauty Boois stated that the purpose of the petition is to express a collective demand to legalize abortion in Namibia, as well as to show, by way of petition, that thousands of Namibians, in particular Namibian women, have a similar wish.
The petition was delivered to the ministries of health, justice, youth, gender, the youth advisor to the Presidency and the secretary of parliament. So far, the petition has gathered the signatures of 70,000 people.
She added that, as Namibian citizens on an equal footing with human rights, women deserve to be heard and to exercise autonomy over their own bodies.
When it comes to his views on the legalization of abortion in Namibia, the President of the Nation of Namibia is quoted in the local media saying: “Someday, we have to pass the law to legalize abortion. People are dying because they have to go to dark corners. So whether it’s legal or not, people are doing it, ”when asked if the government would consider legalizing abortion in Namibia.
Reverberating the president’s sentiments, Boois added that Namibian women have no choice but to violate the law to exercise their right of choice, but they are also risking their lives, health and well-being to obtain illegal abortions.
“This puts Namibian women at risk, due to the fact that around 500 women die each year from illegal abortions, adding to the threat to their well-being posed by other social problems such as gender-based violence and violence. sexual gender violence in the country. country; that are at alarmingly high rates, ”Boois said.
In addition, it argued that the right to have access to legal abortion in Namibia should be accompanied by education on issues related to sexual health and reproductive rights, as well as consent to prevent unwanted pregnancies, the abandonment of babies and promote abortions. legal and insurance in the nation of Namibia.
“It will also be necessary to implement counseling and support structures to empower Namibian women, who are considering or have undergone an abortion, with the guidance and support necessary to make well-informed decisions and freely practice their rights and freedom of autonomy. on our own bodies.
Namibia is currently operating under the South African Abortion and Sterilization Act (1975), which was developed during the apartheid era, which is an indication that the Act was never created for Namibians, by Namibians and in consideration of the Namibian social issues, as well as Namibian people in general. We hope that a new law for Namibians can be developed by the Namibians and that this petition will result in the legalization of abortion in Namibia, ”said Boois.