Why aren't women getting safe abortions?
This editorial frames unsafe abortions as a serious public health concern in South Africa and presents a summary of the main challenges identified in achieving accessible and acceptable reproductive health care services. It highlights some of the complexities around abortions and unwanted pregnancies, and how social and structural pathologies prevent women from accessing basic reproductive healthcare services should be recognised as a form of structural violence. The choice for an abortion is identified as a subject in need of further investigation and argues that in some instances abortion is as much a choice for women as it is against women. Suggestions are made to specialise reproductive health care service provision, for example, linking to National Health Insurance (NHI) initiative, and to include men as partners in prevention and intervention initiatives.
Roxanne Jacobs, SAMRC-UNISA (South African Medical Research Council-University of South Africa) Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit, Tygerberg, Cape Town, South Africa
Nancy Hornsby, SAMRC-UNISA (South African Medical Research Council-University of South Africa) Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit, Tygerberg, Cape Town, South Africa
Unsafe abortions; Public health; Reproductive health; Unwanted pregnancies; Conscientious objection; Structural violence; Pathologies; Stigma; NHI
Date submitted: 2014-11-07
Date published: 2014-11-11
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