Every day, approximately 1000 women die in childbirth or from a pregnancy-related complication.1 Maternal death can occur at any time in pregnancy, but delivery is by far the most dangerous time for both the mother and the baby. The vast majority of these deaths can be prevented if access to emergency obstetric care is ensured.
Experience shows us that at least 15 percent of all pregnant women worldwide encounter a life-threatening complication. In a conflict or a crisis, pregnant women are even more vulnerable because health services have collapsed, are inadequate or non-existent. But these women need access to quality emergency obstetric care whether they live in a conflict zone, in a refugee camp or under plastic sheeting after a devastating earthquake.
South Africa currently only provides for medical abortion in the private sector – however, the National Department of Health is finalising guidelines for implementation in the public sector. Given the demand for abortion services by women, the limited accessibility of surgical abortion there is a need to make medical abortion services available. This should address illegalmedical abortion providers currently advertising on lamppostsin public areas and the concerning maternal mortality rates.
Barriers to Womens Rights in Implementation of The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act (CTOPA) in KwaZulu- Natal
Unsafe abortions are recognised as a global health problem. It is estimated that, worldwide and annually, twenty (20) million abortions are induced by untrained people under medically unsafe conditions. It is further estimated that, worldwide and annually, eighty thousand (80 000) women die as a result of unsafe abortions while another five (5) million women suffer non-fatal health problems (UNDP) as a consequence of unsafe abortions.