Termination of Pregnancy (TOP)
The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act No. 92 of 1996 gives all women the right to a free abortion (termination of pregnancy) at a government hospital or clinic during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
According to the Act, the procedure can also be performed from the 13th week up to the 20th week of the pregnancy if the medical practitioner, after consultation with the pregnant woman, believes that:
After the 20th week of pregnancy if a medical practitioner after consultation with a registered midwife believes that the continued pregnancy:
Women of all ages have the right to terminate a pregnancy and should never be denied the service because of their age. While it’s advisable for minors under the age of 18 to be accompanied by a trusted adult (a parent, aunt or teacher) for support, provisions will be made for girls who are not accompanied by an adult.
If you're considering going for an abortion, speak to a nursing practitioner about the safest methods available to you.
Where can you have a safe abortion?
To have a free abortion, the request must be made at a primary healthcare clinic, where the pregnancy will be confirmed, counselling provided, an appointment made, and a referral letter is given to a facility where the procedure can be performed.
Not all health workers are willing to be involved in this service, but they are obligated by law to inform the client of her rights and must refer the client to a health worker or facility, where she can get the service at one of these Western Cape Health Facilities.
Women are advised to go for safe, legal abortions rather than "backstreet" abortions that are likely to endanger their health and their lives.
How can you access the service?
If you're a first-time visitor to a health facility, you'll be asked to complete a form and a folder will be opened.
You will need the following:
You must sign an informed consent form giving permission for the abortion to be done.
Note: Health workers who are unwilling to give the service for any reason must refer you to a colleague who is willing to do so; or to the appropriate health care facility near you with a referral letter and a booking.
These facility categories:
|Government Body:||(Western Cape Government)|
TOP is free of charge at primary healthcare facilities and when referred up the line. Ambulance services are free of charge for women who have an abortion.
- Termination of Pregnancy (ToP): Policy, Guidelines and Protocols (Policies) (File type: pdf; size: 5.21 MB)