15 Aug 2006

Fiji Women's Rights Movement calls for abortion to be legalised

3:21 pm on 15 August 2006

The Fiji Women's Rights Movement says women should be able to have an abortion if they want one.

Its director, Virisila Buadromo, says poverty and ignorance are major factors contributing to an increase in pre-teen pregnancies and some recent cases of infanticide.

She says that some women go to a few doctors who perform illegal terminations but they are also resorting to back street jobs or local witchdoctors in unsafe circumstances which can prove dangerous to their health.

Ms Buadromo says abortion should be decriminalised and there should be clinics set up by the government where women can go.

"We understand that it is an emotional debate but we feel that women need to have a choice about whether or not they can afford to have a child. And, if they decide not to, then there should be an option for them where they can have access to safe health facilities as supervised by a doctor."

Ms Buadromo says she doesn't consider abortion to be a form of contraception and it should be a last option but the choice should be available.

She also says, that at the same time, there needs to be a lot more sex education for primary school children.