Original Research

The implementation of the choice on termination of pregnancy act: some empirical findings

MC Engelbrecht, AJ Pelser, Charles Ngwena, HCJ van Rensburg
Curationis | Vol 23, No 2 | a624 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v23i2.624 | © 2000 MC Engelbrecht, AJ Pelser, Charles Ngwena, HCJ van Rensburg | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 September 2000 | Published: 27 September 2000

About the author(s)

MC Engelbrecht, Centre for health systems research and development University of the Free State, South Africa
AJ Pelser, Associate professor department of cociology University of the Free State Bloemfontein, South Africa
Charles Ngwena, Associate professor faculty of law vista University, Bloemfontein Campus, South Africa
HCJ van Rensburg, Centre for health systems research and development University of the Orange Free State, South Africa

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Abstract

The Choice on Termination o f Pregnancy Act o f 1996substantially liberalised abortion law. Whilst a substantial number of terminations of pregnancies (TOPs) have already been performed in terms of the new Act, it has also surfaced that an array of factors of various kinds may impede its further implementation and operation. A study was undertaken to determine the nature and extent of any such impediments to the implementation of the Choice on Termination o f Pregnancy Act. More specifically a survey was conducted amongst a sample of 75 women who had undergone a TOP since the implementation of the Act; health professionals and social workers who provide TOP services (n=16); and health professionals and social workers who are in a position to refer women to TOP facilities (n=63). Overall, the clients were well treated at the TOP facilities, and were satisfied with the service given to them. However, post-counselling and to a lesser extent pre-counselling, is lacking. Counselling is important as a considerable proportion of the clients suffered from emotional feelings usually associated with depression and/or self-reproach before and after the termination procedure. Furthermore these clients did not usually discuss their termination with family members. TOP service providers were dissatisfied with the TOP facilities, especially the insufficient number of consultation and counselling rooms. Health care workers in a position to refer clients to TOP facilities were not always willing to do so, thereby obstructing the referral system. In the main, it is recommended that the entire TOP procedure should be done at clinics/hospitals so that clients will not have to do inductions at home, more trained staff should be available, facilities should be adequate and accessible, and there should be psychological support for staff.

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Crossref Citations

1. Factors Related to and the Consequences of the Termination of Pregnancy at the Umtata General Hospital, Eastern Cape
Tembeka Mdleleni-Bookholane
South African Journal of Psychology  vol: 37  issue: 2  first page: 245  year: 2007  
doi: 10.1177/008124630703700203