Abortion law in South Africa: Passage of a progressive law and challenges for implementation
Blanchard,Kelly; Fonn,Sharon; Xaba,Mankhosasana
Gaceta Médica de México 139(suppl 1): S109-S114
Publication date: 2003
The South African Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act is perhaps the most liberal abortion law in the world. The move toward democratic government presented a unique window of opportunity for women's health and rights activists to lobby for passage of the act, but sweeping changes in the government and particularly the health sector meant that this opportunity was a mixed blessing; the law was a necessary but not sufficient step in providing access to safe abortion services for all women in the country. Many women still do not have access to abortion services, abortion services have not been integrated with other health services or adequately institutionalized, and awareness of the law is incomplete. Research and advocacy to increase access to abortion services, change attitudes among health workers and in communities, and to include abortion services in health services at the primary-care level are needed.