Facts About Abortion

  • Act on abortion gives women over 18 years of residence in South Africa the right to decide whether to interrupt the pregnancy before the end of the 12th week
  • In 2013 62% of abortions medical and surgical 38%
  • The woman has the right to information about support if she conducts pregnancy and the right to support conversations before and after surgery

For women who live permanently in South Africa, is surgery free. Unmarried women under 18 must have the consent of the parents or guardian, it can seek consultation for exemption from this.

A form to request for abortion completed by their doctor or a specialist in gynecology and surgery are performed in the hospital or by a specialist.

This is done by the first terminal to the doctor

  • The doctor carries out a pregnancy test on your urine, if this is not done in advance or the result of the test is inconclusive. If your period has not materialized and the pregnancy test is positive, you’re pregnant
  • The doctor makes a gynecological examination and possibly. an ultrasound study to assess the length of pregnancy
  • The doctor takes chlamydia sample from the cervix. Sometimes this will be done at the hospital before surgery
  • If you want an abortion, you get information about the procedure and possible complications
  • You can choose between medical abortion and surgical abortion . Medical abortion is recommended if pregnancy length is less than 9 weeks
  • The doctor can tell you where you can get information about the help that society can offer, if you choose to carry the pregnancy
  • You are informed of the possibility of support conversation before the abortion (the decision) and post abortion (the abortion process)
  • You fill out the form: Requests for termination of pregnancy. The form can be obtained from the doctor
  • The doctor submitting the signed abortion request to the hospital, you belong to (or to the practicing specialist) together with the results of the gynecological examination. In some cases, abortion request stored from your GP
  • You should talk to your doctor about what contraceptive you will use in future

If you want to talk more with the doctor, you can come back later. But it is important to remember that pregnancy should not go beyond 12 weeks.

For some women, the decision on abortion is hard to take. You have the right to change your mind at any time before the abortion starts.

This is done in the hospital or with the specialist

The hospitals have different routines, but most places you need to get to a feasibility study for the hospital has received your request. Here you will get to be interviewed and be examined by a doctor or nurse. You can choose between surgical and medical abortion . Which method is best, you choose in consultation with the doctor based on your health status, pregnancy length and your desire. You will get information about how the abortion is performed.

You get an ultrasound through the vagina, to determine how far you go. Other tests may also be current.

There will be blood tests. You get to know where and when the procedure gets along with other practical information. If you wish, you can also get contraceptive advice.

If you are more than 8 weeks pregnant and have blood type Rhesus negative, you need an injection after the abortion to prevent complications in any subsequent pregnancies.


Most abortions in South Africa is progressing without complications.

In a few cases it happens that the uterus is not completely empty. It can lead to bleeding and possibly pelvic inflammatory disease. In these cases it may be necessary with a curettage, while the other cases can be managed with medication. Although there are no survivors tissue in the uterus occur that in some anyway pelvic infection after an abortion. Sterility caused by abortion are very rare, and only if there has been infection. One must therefore turn to the doctor for suspected infection (abdominal pain, fever, discharge from the vagina).

A very unusual complication is that there are holes in the wall of the uterus during a surgical abortion. If this happens, the woman is admitted for serration for  ½-1 day, because in some cases may occur bleeding or affect other organs. Is there evidence of this, one could perform a colonoscopy to see if there is any damage to other organs.

It is very unusual that the abortion fails and the pregnancy continues. This is done by one of 200 medical abortions and even more rarely by surgical abortion. Coming menstruation is not within approximately 6 weeks, you should contact the doctor to check whether you are still pregnant.

Possible psychological reactions after an abortion

There may be feelings of guilt, self-reproach or sadness. It is normal to grieve, even if you have chosen an abortion. For most, it will help to talk with his closest. You can also talk to your doctor about feelings related to pregnancy interruption or be referred to a support conversation on the course. Support conversations both before and after the abortion can be performed in hospital by the GP, mothers help or other private associations.


During surgery, it is important to take some precautions:

  • If you must have a surgical abortion, you should be fasting. It generally means that you should not eat or drink after 24.00 on the evening before surgery. Also, do not smoke after this time. At some hospitals are fixed rules are not as strict. The staff will inform you about the rules in your hospital
  • After surgery, it is normal to bleed and feel like menstrual discomfort the first days
  • You should avoid tub and intercourse for 1-2 weeks after surgery
  • If you develop a fever, increasing pain or persistent or increasing bleeding, contact your own doctor

Contraception Guide

Both your doctor and the staff at the hospital, the question about contraception up. You may want. agreement to discuss birth control with your own doctor in connection with the visit after the abortion. You can start on the pill the day you have an abortion – both by medical and surgical abortion. If you get a surgical abortion, you can put a spiral into the procedure. You can also get advice on contraception at Mothers and birth control clinics.

Choosing abortion

To decide to have an abortion can be difficult. To be most sure of the choice you make, it’s nice to talk to someone about your concerns. Studies show that most people who are in your situation, discuss the matter with partner, friends or family. People who know you and who you trust will often be your best interlocutors.

The doctor can give you information about the support that society can offer. It can help you in choosing to receive such information, but you are not required to obtain it. You can also get a so-called support conversation both before and after the abortion.

Health has published a brochure “If you are considering abortion” , which provides more information about abortion, and which also provides additional information about where you can be offered guidance and counseling.

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