Women procuring abortions through Facebook
Many women have been buying abortion pills from people hawking them on Facebook.
As a result, many are driven to the anonymity of the Internet. Many young women have found contact details on Facebook for several men claiming to be doctors, all hawking abortion pills.
A quick search on Facebook yields dozens of different pages and events advertising abortions, many featuring stock images of white women popping tablets, or holding their pregnant bellies.
Their posts offer "safe" abortion pills. All sell the same hope to young women in Lesotho.
Facebook is by far the most popular social media network in Lesotho. The overwhelming number of ads were found on that platform, but could be on other sites too.
The Ministry of health hasn't been able to determine the precise number of women who have had health complications, or died, as a result of unsafe abortion procedures, because most women don't disclose whether they've had a procedure in the first place.
"What we mostly see are women who are admitted to our health facilities with incomplete abortion(s)," Dr. Limpho Maile, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, said.
"But without the patient disclosing that it was done illegally we cannot differentiate it from the normal patients needing this service due to miscarriages."
Religion is a big part of why abortion is taboo, and illegal, in Lesotho. According to a report, 90% of the population identifies as Christian, and the Catholic Church remains a prominent part of the country's culture.
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