Termination Of Pregnancy

The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act No. 92 of 1996 gives all women the right to a free abortion (termination of pregnancy), at a government hospital or clinic during the first 3 months of pregnancy.

Women of all ages have the right to an abortion and should never be denied the service because of their age. It’s, however, advisable to be accompanied by a trusted adult (a parent, aunt or teacher) for support if you are under 18.

A couple holding hands.

Abortion methods 

If you’re considering going for an abortion, speak to a medical practitioner about the safest methods available to you.

Medical abortions use medication (pills or tablets) only. It’s available for women who are between 4 and 9 weeks pregnant. The length of the process is different for each woman but it usually takes a few days. A woman may experiences symptoms similar to a miscarriage.

Surgical abortions involve a nurse (up to 12 weeks of pregnancy) or a doctor (from 12 to 20 weeks) conducting a same-day procedure in a clinic or hospital.

Where can you have a safe abortion?

Government hospitals, designated private doctors and gynaecologists, and non-profit providers such as the joel abortion clinic in the gauteng, offer safe and legal termination of pregnancy.

To have a free abortion, the request must be made at a primary healthcare clinic, where the pregnancy will be confirmed, counselling provided, an appointment made, and a referral letter is given to a facility where the procedure can be performed.

Not all health workers are willing to be involved in this service, but they are obligated by law to inform the client of her rights and must refer the client to a health worker or facility, where she can get the service at one of these our branches

Women are advised to go for safe, legal abortions rather than “backstreet” abortions that are likely to endanger their health and their lives.

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