HD-Background Selector

2015 In Article

BACKGROUND: Ugandan law prohibits abortion under all circumstances except where there is a risk for the woman's life. However, it has been estimated that over 250 000 illegal abortions are being performed in the country yearly. Many of these abortions are carried out under unsafe conditions, being one of the most common reasons behind the nearly 5000 maternal deaths per year in Uganda. Little research has been conducted in relation to societal views on abortion within the Ugandan society. This study aims to analyze the discourse on abortion as expressed in the two main daily Ugandan newspapers. METHOD: The conceptual content of 59 articles on abortion between years 2006-2012, from the two main daily English-speaking newspapers in Uganda, was studied using principles from critical discourse analysis. RESULTS: A religious discourse and a human rights discourse, together with medical and legal sub discourses frame the subject of abortion in Uganda, with consequences for who is portrayed as a victim and who is to blame for abortions taking place. It shows the strong presence of the Catholic Church within the medial debate on abortion. The results also demonstrate the absence of medial statements related to abortion made by political stakeholders. CONCLUSIONS: The Catholic Church has a strong position within the Ugandan society and their stance on abortion tends to have great influence on the way other actors and their activities are presented within the media, as well as how stakeholders choose to convey their message, or choose Not to publicly debate the Issue in question at all. To decrease the number of maternal deaths, we highlight the need for a more inclusive and varied debate that problematizes the current situation, especially from a gender perspective.

2013 In Article

"Botswana's national healthcare system has experienced substantial investment as a result of a growing economy and stable government, and improvements in quality and access are Notable. Despite these advances, women's reproductive health continues to suffer as a result of unsafe abortion. The personal, financial, and health costs of women seeking dangerous illegal terminations, or crossing national borders to procure a legal abortion, are evident. Twenty-one in-depth, qualitative interviews with Batswana were conducted to gain some insight into the factors which make terminating an unwanted pregnancy difficult in Botswana. This small study demonstrates that there are important socio-cultural constraints, in addition to the legal barriers, that make abortion problematic. These constraints are entrenched in the wider Issue of women's rights and status in society. "

2013 In Review

The complications of unsafe, illegal abortions are a significant cause of maternal mortality in Botswana. The stigma attached to abortion leads some women to seek clandestine procedures, or alternatively, to carry the fetus to term and abandon the infant at birth. I conducted research into perceptions of abortion in urban Botswana in order to understand the social and cultural obstacles to women's reproductive autonomy, focusing particularly on attitudes to terminating a pregnancy. I carried out 21 interviews with female and male urban adult Batswana. This article constitutes a review of the abortion Issue in Botswana based on my research. Restrictive laws must eventually be abolished to allow women access to safe, timely abortions. My findings however, suggest that socio-cultural factors, Not punitive laws, present the greatest barriers to women seeking to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. These factors must be addressed so that effective local solutions to unsafe abortion can be generated.

2009 In Article

This article examines lay narratives about abortion among adult men and women in Nyeri district, central Kenya. The women studied do Not champion or defend abortion and they do Not necessarily condemn it. To them, abortion shields Not merely against the shame of mistimed or socially unviable entry into recognized motherhood but more importantly against the negative socioeconomic consequences of mistimed or unnecessary childbearing and inconvenient entry into motherhood. The men, on the other hand, were generally condemnatory toward abortion, viewing it as women's strategy for concealing their deviation from culturally acceptable gender and motherhood standards. Induced abortion will persist in Kenya Not primarily because it protects against the shame associated with mistimed childbearing and entry into motherhood, but largely because women associate mistimed childbearing and inconvenient entry into motherhood with poverty and loss of marital viability. Kenyan women seeking abortion may also continue to rely on poor quality abortion services because qualified providers who clandestinely perform abortion charge prohibitively.

2013 In Article

The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act 92 of 1996 embodies a laudable and liberal ideal, namely that the course of a woman's life does not have to be determined by her reproductive capacity. Instead, she has the right to free, non-therapeutic termination of pregnancy in a safe environment, a right which exists up to the end of the second trimester. Dignity, equality, and security of the person are therefore the foundation stones of the right. However, this is not the case for women with limited means who have no choice but to rely on the public provision of termination-of-pregnancy services. Studies of women's lived experiences of the implementation of the Act show that there are barriers to accessing termination-of-pregnancy procedures that need to be removed if they are to enjoy this right fully. Not least of these barriers is the state's failure to fulfil its s 27 obligations in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, as well as its far-reaching inaction in engaging with the implementation of the Act. Numerous other barriers exist at the provider and community level. Only through the removal of such barriers and with the state's fulfilment of its obligations will it be possible to translate the provisions of the Act into their envisaged implementation, thus guaranteeing all women in South Africa (regardless of socio-economic standing) the right to safe and quality termination of pregnancy that is accompanied by dignity, equality and security of the person.

2015 In Article

Public health discourses on safe abortion assume the term to be unambiguous. However, qualitative evidence elicited from Kenyan women treated for complications of unsafe abortion contrasted sharply with public health views of abortion safety. For these women, safe abortion implied pregnancy termination procedures and services that concealed their abortions, shielded them from the law, were cheap and identified through dependable social networks. Participants contested the Notion that poor quality abortion procedures and providers are inherently dangerous, asserting them as key to women's preservation of a good self, management of stigma, and protection of their reputation, respect, social relationships, and livelihoods. Greater public health attention to the social dimensions of abortion safety is urgent.

2007 In Article

The purpose of this study was to examine the factors related to and the consequences of the termination of pregnancy (TOP) among women who underwent the termination of pregnancy procedure at Umtata General Hospital, using Miller's (1992) abortion decision model. A convenience sampling technique was used to select the participants. Only those women who had undergone TOP at the gynaecological clinic of the hospital during November and December 2000 and were willing to talk about their experience were included. Ninety-eight women expressed a willingness to participate. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews. Responses were recorded using a pen-and-paper method. Data were analysed using SPSS and thematic analysis. The findings were interpreted using Miller's (1992) abortion decision model. The women who participated came from different age groups, marital status, and educational levels. The findings revealed that the women's decision to go for TOP was related to a lack of preparedness for childbearing, age, marital status, relationship problems, and lack of financial resources and support. Anticipated parental support and perceived support from friends were associated with more favourable reactions to undertaking TOP.

2009 In Article

The objective of this research was to explore and describe the experience of women after a spontaneous abortion to facilitate the mental health of these women in future. The participants in this study were seven white South African (ages range 24 to 36 years). Data were collected using in-depth interviews and analysed using a descriptive method of open coding. The results suggest that a spontaneous abortion have physical-, emotional-, social- and spiritual effects on women. Participants identified community resources that helped them cope with the experience of loss from the spontaneous abortion.