South Africa: Barriers to safe and legal abortion in South Africa

Women and girls risk unsafe abortions that can lead to serious health complications, and even death, due to persistent barriers to legal abortion services. This briefing highlights how despite South Africa having one of the world’s most progressive legal frameworks for abortion, many women and girls – especially those in the poorest and most marginalized communities – struggle to access safe abortion services. A key barrier is the failure of the government to regulate the practice of ‘conscientious objection’ through which health professionals can refuse to provide abortion services.

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