Abortion in the United States

Barriers to Womens Rights in Implementation of The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act (CTOPA) in KwaZulu- Natal

Published by: 
Health Systems Trust

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.

10 000 abortions done in SA a week

For South Africa's anti-abortion campaigners, Thursday was a day of sadness and mourning. But for the government and women's rights groups, it was a day for victory and celebration.

SA teenagers still battle for access to abortion

A young girl falls pregnant and hides the fact from her parents, fearing their opprobrium. She visits a back-street abortionist, where an unsterile knitting needle is inserted into her vagina. Days later she is hospitalised for severe sepsis of the uterus. The teenager will never bear children again. She is one of the lucky ones.

Against the Grain: U.S. Abortion Policy from a Global Perspective

In 1973, the United States was part of a global trend to reform restrictive abortion laws that resulted in the unnecessary deaths and injuries of millions of women. After the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade secured the right to abortion, access to safe abortion care dramatically reduced maternal deaths and injuries. Despite this healthy trend, right-wing conservatives immediately began a crusade to undermine women's health and self-determination, promoting conservative ideology over public health interests and significantly limiting women's access to safe abortion services.

Health system failing to provide abortions

The Medical Research Council said on Monday the health system was failing to provide women with abortion services and called for unwanted pregnancies to be recognised as a specific health risk It said that many women were still being denied access to termination of pregnancy services and were resorting to back street abortions. It also warned that besides the associated health risks, unwanted pregnancies could also result in neglect or abandoned children as well as in family violence. The MRC's Prof Jack Moodley recently found that hostile moral attitudes of health workers were one of the main factors preventing women from gaining access to legal abortions. The ignorance of women with respect to the law was cited as one of the factors preventing them from legally terminating their pregnancies. It called for women to be educated about their right to legal recourse when access or information about legal abortions was denied. Similarly the health professionals should be educated about the limitation of their rights when it came to providing information and access to abortion services. (Source: SAPA, 30 September 2002).