Bulawayo Metropolitan National Assembly member Jasmine Toffa has called for a review of the country`s abortion laws in a bid to reduce cases of illegal abortion.
Section 3 of the Termination of Pregnancy Act prohibits abortion.
Speaking at a meeting organized by the Women Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) on Friday Toffa said due to the country`s strict laws against abortion, most young women were putting their lives at risk by using unsafe abortion methods.
“It is important to understand that a woman can legally abort an unborn baby when she is raped, mentally ill or the pregnancy is harmful to the mother’s health,” she said.
“However, we have found that most women tend to use unsafe methods to abort such as bicycle spokes, sticks, chilies etc”.
The legislator said men were the ones against the legalization of safe abortion in the country, hence they need to be educated more on the issue.
“Whether you legalise abortion or not, it is still going to take place,” she charged.
“The best thing to do is to ensure it is practiced in a safe way.
“Legalising abortion does not mean it will increase the number of women aborting, it will only mean it is practiced safe”.
She added that despite abortion being legalised for women who have been raped, the process is too long and strenuous.
“There is too much red tape around this issue of abortion. If you are raped you need to go through the police, the court, and about four doctors who will clear you to go through the process. By the time this is done, you would have given birth,” said Toffa.
The MDC legislator urged young women who are advocating for safe abortion to personalize the matter in order to encourage communities and make them responsive towards the matter.