With abortion services becoming available through telemedicine and self-managed abortions increasingly gaining traction globally, the relevance and legality of abortion law should be questioned as women demand reproductive justice, and feminists get organising.
By Marion Stevens
14 August 2020
Abortion has always been legal in South Africa, a fact which may surprise many people. The colonial government introduced Roman-Dutch law, which allowed abortions to take place under certain conditions.
The Abortion and Sterilisation Act 2 of 1975 reserved access to abortion for white women, while increasing control over black women’s bodies – all within a population control framework. Under this act, approximately 1,000 white women accessed abortion every year, while the number of black women seeking abortions was not even recorded.