Legal Abortions are Safe and Confidential | Western Cape Government


Legal Abortions are Safe and Confidential

17 March 2011

The Department of Health wishes to assure the public that safe, confidential and legal abortions are available at several facilities in the Western Cape. Women finding themselves in the position that require a termination of pregnancy can follow the following route to assure a safe termination:

Patients need to visit their local clinic to confirm their pregnancy; this should done be as soon as a woman suspects she may be pregnant.

  • At the clinic, a Registered Nurse (Sister) will confirm the pregnancy and do the necessary tests and observations.
  • The patient needs to tell the nurse that she requires a termination.
  • The Nurse will then give a letter of referral to the patient and refer her to the closest social worker. The patient will then see the social worker who will book an appointment for Sonar. It is vital that the patient attends the clinic on the day of her appointment, as not all clinics have sonographer services on a daily basis.
  • After the Sonar the social worker will counsel the woman and she will be given a date for the procedure, which will take place at a hospital.
  • After the procedure the patient will be offered a choice of contraception. It is a good idea to decide before the procedure what form of birth control you are going to use to prevent future unwanted pregnancies.

All sexually active women 12 years and up may access free birth control at all clinics. Unwanted pregnancy is avoidable through the consistent and correct use of any of the following birth control methods:

  • Condoms: Both Male and Female Condoms are available free of charge at all clinics
  • The Pill: Which must be taken daily as per instruction
  • The Injection: There are two different kinds, a two or three monthly injection
  • Intra Uterine Device (IUD): Is a tiny device that is fitted into the uterus thus preventing pregnancy
  • Vasectomy and Sterilisation: Permanent birth control for men and women who have completed their families is free of charge, you need to request these services from the Clinic.

If you have had unprotected sex you can visit your clinic for Emergency contraception, also known as the "morning after Pill". This pill needs to be taken within 72 hours (3 Days) after unsafe sex.

To avoid unwanted pregnancy, please visit your local clinic and ask about contraception.

Media Enquiries: 

Jo-Anne Otto
Communications Officer for the Department of Health, Cape Winelands District, Worcester
Tel: 023 348 8109
Fax: 023 342 8501
Cell: 072 808 0106