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Safe abortion in South Africa: "We have wonderful laws but we don't have people to implement those laws"



Safe abortion in South Africa: "We have wonderful laws but we don't have people to implement those laws"



International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics: the Official Organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics 143(Suppl. 4): 38-44



In South Africa, abortion was legalized in 1996, during the nation's transition from apartheid to independence and democracy, under the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act (CTOPA). The law drew from both a public health and rights-based framework. A coalition of advocates played a key role in passage. In the years after the CTOPA was passed, abortion services were expanded-in part through a 2008 amendment that allowed trained registered nurses to provide abortions-and deaths from unsafe abortions decreased. However, there have been hurdles to implementation, including competing health priorities such as HIV/AIDS, and a high number of conscientious objectors. There is a geographic disparity in accessibility of abortion services between provinces as well as between urban and rural areas. Women seeking legal abortions face a lack of accessible information on where to obtain an abortion, often experience stigma at facilities, and many obtain illegal procedures.

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Accession: 065910215

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 30374986

DOI: 10.1002/ijgo.12676


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