Health care providers' attitudes towards termination of pregnancy: A qualitative study in South Africa

Harries, Jane; Stinson, Kathryn; Orner, Phyllis
January 2009
BMC Public Health;2009, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p296
Academic Journal
Background: Despite changes to the abortion legislation in South Africa in 1996, barriers to women accessing abortion services still exist including provider opposition to abortions and a shortage of trained and willing abortion care providers. The dearth of abortion providers undermines the availability of safe, legal abortion, and has serious implications for women's access to abortion services and health service planning. In South Africa, little is known about the personal and professional attitudes of individuals who are currently working in abortion service provision. Exploring the factors which determine health care providers' involvement or disengagement in abortion services may facilitate improvement in the planning and provision of future services. Methods: Qualitative research methods were used to collect data. Thirty four in-depth interviews and one focus group discussion were conducted during 2006 and 2007 with health care providers who were involved in a range of abortion provision in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. Data were analysed using a thematic analysis approach. Results: Complex patterns of service delivery were prevalent throughout many of the health care facilities, and fragmented levels of service provision operated in order to accommodate health care providers' willingness to be involved in different aspects of abortion provision. Related to this was the need expressed by many providers for dedicated, stand-alone abortion clinics thereby creating a more supportive environment for both clients and providers. Almost all providers were concerned about the numerous difficulties women faced in seeking an abortion and their general quality of care. An overriding concern was poor pre and post abortion counselling including contraceptive counselling and provision. Conclusion: This is the first known qualitative study undertaken in South Africa exploring providers' attitudes towards abortion and adds to the body of information addressing the barriers to safe abortion services. In order to sustain a pool of abortion providers, programmes which both attract prospective abortion providers, and retain existing providers, needs to be developed and financial compensation for abortion care providers needs to be considered.


Related Articles

  • TRAP Laws Gain Political Traction While Abortion Clinics– And the Women They Serve–Pay the Price. Gold, Rachel Benson; Nash, Elizabeth // Guttmacher Policy Review;Spring2013, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p7 

    The article focuses on the aspects of the Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider (TRAP) laws, which have resulted in the closing of clinics and have not benefitted women. It mentions the campaign's efforts to identify abortion clinics is based on the perceived danger of abortion. It discusses...

  • Abortion policy in Britain and the United States. Francome, Colin // Social Work;Jan80, Vol. 25 Issue 1, p5 

    This article compares the number of legal abortions performed in the United States and Britain. It reveals that the rate of abortion in the United States is more than twice that of Britain. The author analyzes the reasons for the different rates.

  • Abortion Reporting Requirements.  // State Policies in Brief (Series);Jul2014, p1 

    The article focuses on the reporting requirements of abortion on some U.S. states and mentions the required information for forms of abortion report such as the designation of the facility where abortion was performed. Topics discussed include the adjustment of abortion forms performed by some...

  • THE IMPACT OF THE CHOICE ON TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY ACT OF 1996 (ACT 92 OF 1996) ON CRIMINAL ABORTIONS IN THE MTHATHA AREA OF SOUTH AFRICA. Meel, Banwari L.; Kaswa, Ram P. // African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine;2009, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p79 

    Background: The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1996 (Act 92 of 1996) allows abortions to be legally carried out in South Africa. It is not clear how many people are utilising this service. Mthatha is a poverty-stricken area with a high rate of illiteracy. The available infrastructure,...

  • `Necessity' is the mother of contention. McGovern, Celeste // Alberta Report / Newsmagazine;6/19/95, Vol. 22 Issue 27, p10 

    Reports on developments in the debates with regard to funding issues for medically necessary procedures under the Canada Health Act. Committee to End Tax-Funded Abortions' stand of removing abortion from Alberta's list of tax-funded medical services; Opposition by a pro-funding coalition; Views...

  • My Body, My Consent: Securing the Constitutional Right to Abortion Funding. McDonagh, Eileen L. // Albany Law Review;1999, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p1057 

    Focuses on the idea of interpreting the constitutional right of women to abortion in the United States under the concept of women's right to consent-to-pregnancy. Definition of consent-to-pregnancy; Implication of the government's refusal to fund abortions; Discussion on the objection to the...

  • Analysis eyes abortion counseling requirements.  // Contraceptive Technology Update;Feb2008, Vol. 29 Issue 3, p29 

    Results from a new analysis indicate that current state-mandated abortion counseling requirements often violate core principles of informed consent. • In 23 states where providers are required to give information in verbal or written form, such information often falls short of fundamental...

  • Abortion in Poland: The Change that Never Happened. Kalbarczyk, Piotr // Conscience: The News Journal of Catholic Opinion;2013, Vol. 34 Issue 1, p38 

    The author discusses the society's acceptance of the limit of access to legal abortion in Poland. He accounts the decreasing number of abortion cases in the country to social changes happened since 1980. He points out that people prefer to change their behaviors and choices to curb the necessity...

  • GP surgeries to carry out abortions.  // Pulse;12/5/2007, Vol. 67 Issue 44, p1 

    The article discusses a government plan regarding the establishing of abortion services in medical practices in Great Britain. It states that the move is part of proposals to make abortion available closer to where patients live. It also adds that the Department of Health confirmed that it was...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics