Everyone has an opinion, but what does the law say?
The topic of abortion is sometimes controversial. Some women think that, due to their religious or spiritual beliefs, abortion should not be legal. Other people think that it is a woman’s right to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy, or not. In South Africa, the law supports a woman’s right to choose. The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act was passed in 1997 in South Africa, providing abortion on upon request for a variety of cases.
Section 2 deals with the conditions and circumstances under which a pregnancy may be terminated . Any woman of any age can get an abortion, if she is less than 13 weeks pregnant. If she is between 13 and 20 weeks pregnant, she can get the abortion only under certain circumstances, namely: - if her own physical or mental health is at stake; the baby will have severe mental or physical abnormalities ; she is pregnant because of incest; she is pregnant because of rape, or she is of the personal opinion that her economic or social situation is sufficient reason for the termin ation of pregnancy. If she is more than 20 weeks pregnant, she can get the abortion only if her or the fetus' life is in danger or there are likely to be serious birth defects.
A woman under the age of 18 will be advised to consult her parents, but she can also decide not to inform or consult them. A woman who is married or in a life - partner relationship will be advised to consult her partner, but again she can decide not to info rm or consult him/her.
Date: 26th June 2013
Legislation: Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, 92 of 1996
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