Abortion is a sensitive topic that is frowned upon in a number of communities around South Africa and equated to murder by some. Like pregnancy, there was once a time when there were fewer conversations around the topic. Since 1 February 1997, the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act (Act 92 of 1996) came into force, providing abortion on demand for a variety of cases. With that said, In South Africa, any woman of any age can get an abortion by simply requesting with no reasons given if she is less than 13 weeks pregnant.
If a woman is between 13 and 20 weeks pregnant, she can get the abortion if:
(a) Her own physical or mental health is at stake,
(b) The baby will have severe mental or physical abnormalities,
(c) She is pregnant because of incest,
(d) She is pregnant because of rape, or
(e) She is of the personal opinion that her economic or social situation is sufficient reason for the termination of pregnancy. If she is more than 20 weeks pregnant, she can get the abortion only if her or the fetus’ life is in danger or there are likely to be serious birth defects.
A woman under the age of 18 will be advised to consult her parents, but she can decide not to inform or consult them if she so chooses.A woman who is married or in a life-partner relationship will be advised to consult her partner, but again she can decide not to inform or consult him/her.Recently, Phale our paralegal from Messina advice Office spoke on this controversial topic on Musina FM. With the help of CJN in a manner that is not meant to rightfully execute the topic without offending the listener. Phale’s aim was to inform and educate. During the show, Phale emphasised that he was not promoting abortion but trying to inform and be a positive mouth piece so people can get a better understanding. The reason he chose the topic is the fact that there are a number of back door abortions and children being abandoned. He also touched who must perform an abortion on a patient and what age is it legal to have an abortion. For more on the topic click on the link to listen.