Your body, your choice… or is it? What are your rights when it comes to contraception and pregnancy termination? In this article, we’re going to lay down the law (so to speak) so that you will never even have to think about this question ever again.
Contraception & abortion: who makes the choice? It’s a controversial topic, but it needs to be addressed. In this article, we’ll be talking about some topics that need correct answers.
Condom use: his choice or hers?
Which partner decides whether or not to use a condom? Interesting question, right? The bottom line is that practising safe sex is a joint responsibility.
Using a condom during sexual activity is recommended because they protect against the transmission of STIs and reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy significantly. If you’re on birth control, rather be extra safe and use a condom as well during sex. If your partner is unwilling to use protection, you have a right to say ‘no!’
Do I need my partner’s permission to have an abortion?
No, you don’t need your partner’s permission to terminate a pregnancy; a safe abortion is your human right, and that’s the law!
The South African Constitution gives all women the right to make decisions regarding reproduction. This means that in the event of an unplanned pregnancy, women have the right to decide whether or not to terminate. You are allowed to choose which safe abortion method is right for you, but a medical professional will provide his/her recommendation depending on your gestation period.
Safe abortion methods
Medical abortion is available once pregnancy is detected via an ultrasound test. A gestation period (stage of pregnancy) ranging from 5 weeks up to 9 weeks is the window period for the medication abortion option. After nine weeks, you’ll need to have an in-clinic surgical abortion.
Surgical abortion is most commonly performed in the first trimester, (up to 14 weeks’ gestation) – it has a low complication rate when carried out during this time. However, it’s possible for the procedure can also be performed when you’re in your second trimester (up to 20 weeks), but it does mean that the surgery is more complicated.
How Marie Stopes can help you
If you are pregnant and want to terminate the pregnancy, you don’t have to feel embarrassed. Remember, you have the legal right to safe abortion, which can be performed at any of our conveniently-located centres.
Are you are worried that you may have a sexually transmitted disease due to having unsafe sex, we also offer HIV and STI testing and will provide you with all of the support you may need.
In South Africa, we operate 17 centres across seven provinces and are a Section 21 non-profit organisation recognised for the quality of our clinical services and our non-judgmental, client-friendly approach.
Please note: Marie Stopes South Africa abides by the laws laid down by the Constitution strictly.
Remember that The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Act (38 of 2004) gives every woman the right to have a safe abortion performed by a medical professional at an accredited women’s healthcare clinic, up to the 20th week of gestation. Never let anyone try to convince you otherwise about contraception & abortion.