The availability of and access to basic sexual and reproductive health services, including safe abortion services, is a crucial aspect of ensuring women’s health and rights.
Unsafe abortions pose undue risks to women’s health and result in the deaths of many women and girls every year in South Africa. As per Marie Stopes International’s estimates, South Africa saw 245,211 unsafe abortions in 2010.
South Africa’s Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act remains one of the most progressive laws on abortion in the world. The passing of this law was a crucial advance for women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in the country as it guaranteed access to abortion on demand. However, there are now genuine concerns among sexual and reproductive health and rights activists that the proposed amendments by the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) to the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act will compromise access to safe and legal abortions in South Africa and undermine women’s agency over their bodies.
Since the enactment of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, abortion-related deaths fell by 91% between 1994 and 1998-2001.
December 20, 2017