Securing Equitable Access to Comprehensive Abortion Care in South Africa: Technical Update
Pathfinder’s Comprehensive Abortion Care Project has worked in South Africa since 2007 to secure access to safe abortion for all women, placing particular emphasis on reaching young women, who are disproportionately affected by restrictive abortion climates.
Since passing the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act (CTOP) in 1996, South Africa has had the most liberal abortion law in sub-Saharan Africa. Although women are guaranteed the right to abortion on demand up to 12 weeks gestational age, myriad factors prevent a majority of South African women from actualizing this right. Since the law’s inception, stigma, lack of enforcement, inadequate support to health providers to deliver abortion services, and overburdening of the small number of facilities that provide the service have combined to make safe abortion largely inaccessible. This technical update discusses Pathfinder South Africa’s experience supporting youth-friendly comprehensive abortion care service delivery in public sector facilities, providing recommendations for future such efforts.
This tool is intended to help organizations assess the legal context for abortion; assess the actual/on-the-ground context for abortion; and identify challenges to and opportunities for improving access to safe abortion through policy change.
This technical update discusses Pathfinder's global CAC approach and experience in Ghana, as well as the government's recent endorsement to scale up the approach in the north.