African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP Cheryllyn Dudley’s private member’s Bill on abortion has hit its first parliamentary hurdle as MPs pushed back against her claims that it would secure a better deal for women. The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill was tabled in Parliament in December. It proposes mandatory counseling for women seeking abortions, including showing them ultrasound images of their foetuses in utero, and removing provisions that allow third-trimester abortions if there is a risk of injury to the foetus. The Bill also introduces the requirement that a social worker must agree with a doctor’s determination that a continued pregnancy would significantly affect her socio-economic circumstances, a measure critics say would make it more difficult for women to obtain second-trimester abortions. On Tuesday, Dudley presented her bill to Parliament’s portfolio committee on health, saying mandatory counseling would enable women to make informed choices a...

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