South Africa Women Who Get Pregnant Have Abortions Half the Time

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 9, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Africa Women Who Get Pregnant Have Abortions Half the Time Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 9
, 2007

Pretoria, South Africa ( — New statistics from a leading international abortion advocacy group find that half of pregnancies in South Africa in end in abortion. That’s significantly higher than the percentage of pregnancies ending in abortion in other industrialized nations, such as the United States where the mark is one in five.

South Africa introduced new abortion laws in 1997 and the pro-abortion group Ipas says that, since then, 500,000 women there have had abortions.

Stats also show that 24 percent of all abortions occur during the second trimester, meaning women are waiting for abortions and potentially using it as birth control.

Professor Eddie Mhlanga, the head of obstetrics and gynecology at Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine at the University of KwaZulu Natal, and an Ipas board member, said statistics show there were 529,410 women having abortions since the law.

And 256,808 of the abortions happened in the last three years, showing the number of abortions is on the rise.

The organization held a symposium on Thursday and said the government of the nation needed to do more to promote contraception use instead of abortion.

According to the Star newspaper, the group also said that the number of public health facilities doing abortions has increased by 10 percent in the past two years.

Now, some 55 percent of all health centers do abortions — which is higher than the 45 percent target the government set.

Despite the legalization and increase of abortion in South Africa, Professor Sam Monokoane, head of obstetrics and gynecology at Medunsa, admitted that it had not stopped illegal abortions from occurring.

South Africa is out of step with most African nations as the cultural and religious beliefs of many African nations lead them to oppose abortions.

But UN agencies and pro-abortion groups want African countries and nations in South America and Europe to make abortion legal and say the rights of women can’t be respected unless they do.

African nations have largely resisted those efforts and some countries, including Tunisia, Kenya, Egypt, Uganda, Libya and others have led efforts to keep language promoting abortion out of treaties and other key UN documents.

Polls, including an October survey conducted by the Pew Research firm show that residents of African nations are strongly pro-life.
The poll asked respondents whether they believed abortion was always justified, sometimes justified, or never justified.

People living in Kenya broke down into a 0/11/88 percentage split on those categories, Nigeria citizens opposed abortion by a 1/4/94 percentage margin and South African residents opposed abortion on a 8/16/73 percentage split.

Pew also asked residents of each of the nations a biased question about whether "the government should not interfere with a woman’s ability to have an abortion."

Citizens of Kenya were most likely to say they disagree with the statement while residents of South Africa were about evenly split.

Pew’s survey polled anywhere from 600-1,005 people in each country and the polls were taken from May to September.