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.
It is undeniable that Christian churches have made a big contribution towards shaping attitudes around sexuality.
HIV-positive pregnant women should be told about and referred to, if they request this, abortion services as part of a continuum of care. Currently, only surgical abortions are available; however, medical abortion clinical guidelines are being finalized by the DOH. This should expand options for safe early legal termination of pregnancy; the earlier a pregnancy is terminated, the safer it will be. Medical abortion is generally done in the first 56 days of pregnancy so would assist greatly in reducing costs and the demands on a health facility.