South Africa – The challenges of accessing abortion clinics

Published Oct 19, 2022

Johannesburg - Pregnancy can be an exhilarating time for many while for others, it sinks them deep into depression, with the children at times unwanted.

For those women who feel they are not ready for the responsibility that comes with parenting, abortion becomes the only option or at times, the only solution.


Under attack, global sexual health ‘can’t rely on US’

by SciDev.Net
July 25, 2022

Religious campaigns and political interference could threaten hard-won reproductive health rights in the global South in the wake of the US Supreme Court decision on abortion, health advocates fear.

Cross-border solidarity and coordination will be needed to face down the growing global threat to reproductive rights, health and policy experts have told SciDev.Net.


South Africa – 64,000 women still die every year as a result of backstreet abortions

Since November 1996 women legally have the right to access abortion in South Africa up to the 20th week of pregnancy.

By Dr Dulcy Rakumakoe
20 Jun 2022

In South Africa, a woman of any age can get an abortion by simply requesting with no reasons given if she is less than 13 weeks pregnant.

If she is between 13 and 20 weeks pregnant, she can get the abortion if:

  • Her own physical or mental health is at
  • The baby will have severe mental or
    physical abnormalities
  • She is pregnant because of incest
  • She is pregnant because of rape
  • She is of the personal opinion that her
    economic or social situation is sufficient reason for the termination of
  • If she is more than 20 weeks pregnant,
    she can get the abortion only if she or the foetus’ life is in danger or
    there are likely to be serious birth defects.


South Africa: One Second-Trimester Public Abortion Facility in the Entire Eastern Cape Is Not Good Enough

1 APRIL 2022
By Sibusisiwe Ndlela, Khanyisa Mapipa and Thokozile Mtsolongo

Second-trimester abortions, which occur between the beginning of the 13th and the end of the 20th week of pregnancy, are difficult to access in the public sector. This is mainly due to the lack of designated abortion facilities and the unavailability of abortion providers to provide the service.

Based on our work in the Eastern Cape, we found that these issues prevent women from accessing a second-trimester abortion in the public health system. Out of sheer desperation, some vulnerable women carrying unwanted pregnancies may resort to unsafe and illegal abortion providers.


South Africa: Abortion Access in Eastern Cape Falls Far Short

11 MARCH 2022
By Khanyisa Mapipa, Sibusisiwe Ndlela and Thokozile Mtsolongo

Following the publication of an article by GroundUp News on 21 October 2021, titled "Pregnant Women queue all night outside abortion clinic", we followed up to determine the state of abortion services offered by the Eastern Cape Department of Health.

We visited Mthatha Gateway Clinic (the clinic mentioned in the GroundUp article), spoke to a number of women seeking abortion services at the clinic, and we called facilities designated by the provincial health department as abortion service providers to verify that these services are, in fact, provided.


The shade of the baobab is no more — sleep well, beloved Prof Eddie Ronald Mhlanga

By Tlaleng Mofokeng
10 Feb 2022

There has been an outpouring of tributes and messages of gratitude from across the world and from the many colleagues and communities in South Africa and abroad for Professor Eddie Mhlanga’s life. He was a man of the people. Like a baobab tree, he offered shade from our harsh realities and rooted us in something way bigger than ourselves.

I experienced a deep loss on 5 February 2022,
when Professor Eddie Mhlanga, a friend, mentor and teacher, passed away. This
deep loss is felt by so many people: his family, whom we pray for, the medical
community and many patients who have interacted with him. I have had the
privilege of listening to him as a teacher, being comforted by him as a mentor
and laughing with him as a friend for many years.


Big Acts, little access: The disconnection between SA’s abortion policies and women’s lived realities

Boitumelo Masipa And Thembi Mahlathi
28 Sep 2021

South Africa’s Choice on Termination of Pregnancy (CTOP) Act is said to be possibly the most progressive abortion policy in the world, giving women and young girls the freedom to realise their right to reproductive health – at least that’s the aim.

In Africa, only two other countries have legalised abortion without restriction, Tunisia and Cape Verde. However, despite its liberal abortion policies, the reality in South Africa is that accessing reproductive health services, including abortion, is extremely difficult for many women and girls.


South Africa – A look at new abortion guidelines

Marion Stevens And Daphney Nozizwe Conco
Sep 28, 2021

International Safe Abortion Day marks a woman’s fundamental reproductive right to access safe, legal abortion.

The Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion has its origin in Latin America and the Caribbean where women’s groups have been mobilising to demand their governments decriminalise abortion, provide access to safe and affordable abortion services, and end stigma and discrimination against women who choose to have an abortion.


NPO launches campaign to combat illegal abortions

Seen by the numerous adverts placed on bins, poles and walls, it seems to suggest that the number of unsafe abortion providers is ever increasing, says Mary Stopes SA

March 8, 2021
Boksburg Advertiser

Marie Stopes South Africa (MSSA) has launched their #TearThemDown campaign, a fight against all illegal abortion service providers in the country.

MSSA has
reiterated its mission to provide safe pregnancy options for women in South

According to
Whitney Chinogwenya, marketing and brand manager at MSSA, the unsafe practice
of illegal abortion continues to be a scourge that adds to the public health


Africa – Abortion is healthcare – and this makes it a human right

Reproductive justice is about much more than the freedom to choose to terminate a pregnancy or not – it challenges systems of oppression and discrimination and calls for a focused action plan for law reform.

By Tlaleng Mofokeng
14 August 2020

Dignity, bodily integrity, equality, safety and security, and health – including reproductive health – are human rights.

States must work to ensure that all people, regardless of gender, age, immigration or documentation status, geography or class, are able to access life-affirming and comprehensive healthcare. No circumstances or interventions should lead to discrimination, obstruction of access to abortion, or complications or death due to unsafe procedures.