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Guide to Choosing A Safe Abortion Provider
The decision to have an abortion is one of the most difficult physical and emotional choices a woman can make. So, please make sure that the procedure is performed at an accredited, safe clinic – it’s your right!
Before you have an abortion, it’s beneficial to speak to a professional counsellor/social worker who can help you prepare emotionally and explain to you the importance of choosing a safe abortion provider.
The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act was passed in 1996, made it legal for women to have up to the 20th week of pregnancy access to safe abortion at a high-quality, accredited women’s healthcare clinic That being said, there is still over 50% of ‘backstreet’ abortions being performed. Here are the most common reasons:
- Women are unsure of where they can go
- Women do not know that abortion every woman has the legal right to have a safe abortion in South Africa
- Women are frightened that they will be judged and by their communities
- There is a negative societal stigma attached to having an abortion
- Women fear that confidentiality will not be observed
- Women do not know which abortion provider is safe and which is not
How do I know if a provider is safe?
A safe abortion provider
- Offers safe abortion care under the governing laws regarding safe abortion in South Africa (only up to 20 weeks of pregnancy)
- Operates inside of accredited clinics or centres
- Can provide their Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) or South African Nursing Council (SANC) registration number
- Will perform physical examinations, take a medical history or provide a test/scan to confirm the gestation stage of the pregnancy
- Follow all of the infection prevention medical requirements, such as having running water, wearing gloves and clean linen
- Provide you with a consultation that includes all of your pregnancy options, including information about a future contraceptive method
- Arranges follow-up appointments and/or contact information in case of any questions or concerns you may have
An unsafe abortion provider
- Sells you medical abortion tablets over the Internet
- Offers to meet you at a street corner or other non-clinical environments with medication
- Only has a mobile number and cannot provide official contact details or cannot provide a Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) or South African Nursing Council (SANC) registration number.
Please know that you’re not alone; there are professional counsellors and social workers who dedicate their lives to helping you emotionally. Whatever questions or worries you may have, he/she is there for you.
Source: Marie Stopes South Africa (Safe Abortion and Post Abortion Family Planning)
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