Abortion has been legal in South Africa since the enactment of the 1996 Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act. But unsafe abortion is prevalent and particularly impacts poor women and girls and those who live in rural areas. In 2012, nearly 50 percent of adolescent abortions occurred outside of a clinical setting. Most were likely unsafe.
Ipas South Africa partners with health departments in two provinces, Gauteng and Limpopo, to increase women’s access to safe, high-quality abortion. Programs include training safe abortion providers and clinic staff and supporting facilities to provide safe abortion services. Ipas South Africa also works with partners to advocate for public commitment to legal, accessible abortion. Beginning in 1995, Ipas partnered with South Africa’s National Department of Health and all nine Provincial Departments of Health to increase access to safe abortion care. Ipas closed its South Africa office in 2014 and reopened in 2017.
Providing the contraceptive choices women need now in South Africa
First started as an emergency response during initial COVID-19 lockdowns, Ipas Southern Africa Region’s LARC Public-Private Partnership Project is expanding access to sexual and reproductive health services with a focus on contraceptives, especially long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC). The project recognizes the need for the public and private health sectors to collaborate on service provision and training, so that women have more options to prevent unwanted pregnancy.