I'm considering having an abortion. What do I need to know?
Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng shares advice that'll help you make an informed decision
Q. I'm considering having an abortion. What do I need to know to make an informed decision?
A. The Bill of Rights recognises reproductive health as a right and the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act provides the legal framework for it.
The act allows abortion on request up to the 12th week of pregnancy, and this can be performed by a nurse or doctor. From the 13th week onward, it may only be performed by a doctor.
An abortion can only be performed with the informed consent of the woman or girl, and no other person's consent is required. Even in the case where a minor is pregnant, the consent of her parents, guardian or family is not required - but she must be advised to discuss it with them.Informed consent will be obtained by the nurse or doctor performing the abortion.
It entails you, the patient, understanding the type of procedure, medical or surgical, that is going to be performed, the expected outcome of the procedure and information on and a plan for how to manage pain, discomfort or bleeding.
Your medical history and other relevant history is important in order to provide personalised advice regarding, for example, a possible allergy to any medication used and options for contraception if required.This is not exhaustive but does give some idea of what information you can ask for and expect.
The scourge of illegal abortion is unabated and many women are unaware that it is illegal to advertise medical procedures in this manner.
Most of those advertising are selling pills or performing procedures outside of a health facility and do not meet the requirements as per the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act and therefore are illegal and presumed unsafe.How to spot an illegal abortion-pill seller:..