Abortion is legal in South Africa, yet most pregnant people do not know that they are legally entitled to a free abortion at a public health care facility if they so desired. In South Africa, many pregnant people do not always know where to access safe abortion services or even where to access information on abortion facilities.
Do you know your rights when it comes to abortions?
Did you know
- That reproductive rights are human rights?
- That the decision to have children resides with the person who is able to fall pregnant?
- That universal access to reproductive health care services includes contraception, termination of pregnancy, sexuality education and counselling services?
- That all those able to fall pregnant have the right to be informed of and to have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of fertility regulation of their choice?
- That those able to fall pregnant have the right to access appropriate health care services and the state has the responsibility to provide reproductive health to all?
- That the state also has the responsibility to provide safe conditions under which the right of choice can be exercised without fear of harm or stigma?
South African law says
All pregnant people have the right to access safe and legal abortions, for free at a government hospital or clinic, during the first 3 months of pregnancy. Before the end of the first 3 months of pregnancy, an abortion can be carried out by a doctor or a trained registered nurse or midwife, therefore making an abortion more accessible earlier in the pregnancy.
Health workers CANNOT refuse to perform an abortion because of
- Your age: If you are under 18, you can ask a trusted adult for support or to accompany you while you have the abortion, only if you want to. No one, including your parents, has the right to say you cannot have the abortion if you want it.
- What your spouse or partner says.
- Any other reason not related to your physical health, such as your choice of work, your relationship status, or your immigration status.
Did you know?
- There is no limit on the number of abortions that you are allowed to have under South African Law!