Chapter 8 - Family Law and Violence against Women
When may a woman have an abortion?
The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act says a woman can get a termination of her pregnancy
in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy
from week 13 up to and including week 20, if a doctor after consulting with the pregnant woman thinks that:
after the 20th week, if a doctor after consultation with another doctor or a registered midwife thinks that:
Consent to an abortion
The termination of pregnancy can only take place once the woman has given her informed consent. No consent other than that of the pregnant woman is necessary for the termination of a pregnancy unless she is so mentally ill that she doesn't understand what abortion is about or what happens as a result of an abortion, or she is continuously unconscious and therefore cannot give consent.
In the case of a pregnant minor (a person under the age of 18 years) a medical practitioner or a registered midwife must advise the minor to consult with her parents, guardian, family members or friends before the pregnancy is terminated. However, if the minor chooses not to consult them, she is still allowed to have the abortion in terms of the Act.
A woman is entitled to counselling before and after the abortion. The counsellor may not force her, nor tell her whether or not she should have the abortion.
Who may perform an abortion?
In the first 12 weeks of pregnancy:
From week 13 to the end of the pregnancy:
Government hospitals should provide facilities to carry this out.
© This material may not be used for profit without permission from ETU
ETU can not respond to requests for legal advice, contact the organisations listed under Resources.