Simple solutions to reduce unsafe abortions in South Africa


18th August, 2016

The WHO estimates that, worldwide, one woman dies every 8 minutes from an unsafe abortion that could have been prevented [1]. To its credit, South Africa has come a long way since 1994 when nearly 45,000 women were admitted to hospitals for spontaneous abortions or complications of clandestine abortions [2]. Since the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act (Act 92 of 1996, the Choice Act) came into effect in 1996, maternal morbidity and mortality have dropped [3, 6]. But despite South Africa’s efforts, it is estimated that 50% – 60% of the country’s 260,000 abortions are still illegal and likely unsafe [4]. This trend shows no signs of

safe2choose is a social enterprise whose mission is to provide evidence-based information and counseling on how to have a safe abortion with pills and facilitate access to safe and affordable abortion pills to women who want them. Since we started building a team in South Africa over six months ago, we have been investigating what problems exist with the current systems of service delivery in South Africa and how to improve our global model to help the thousands of women currently flocking to illegal providers in South Africa.

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