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Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1996 (Act No. 92 of 1996)



Notice No. 1891

22 November 1996


(Afrikaans text signed by the President.)

(Assented to 12 November 1996.)


It is hereby notified that the President has assented to the following Act which is hereby published for general information:-


To determine the circumstances in which and conditions under which the pregnancy of a woman may be terminated; and to provide for matters connected therewith.





Recognising the values of human dignity, the achievement of equality, security of the person, non-racialism and non-sexism, and the advancement of human rights and freedoms which underlie a democratic South Africa;


Recognising that the Constitution protects the right of persons to make decisions concerning reproduction and to security in and control over their bodies;


Recognising that both women and men have the right to be informed of and to have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of fertility regulation of their choice, and that women have the right of access to appropriate health care services to ensure safe pregnancy and childbirth;


Recognising that the decision to have children is fundamental to women's physical, psychological and social health and that universal access to reproductive health care services includes family planning and contraception, termination of pregnancy, as well as sexuality education and counseling programmes and services;


Recognising that the State has the responsibility to provide reproductive health to all, and also to provide safe conditions under which the right of choice can be exercised without fear or harm;


Believing that termination of pregnancy is not a form of contraception or population control;


This Act therefore repeals the restrictive and inaccessible provisions of the Abortion and Sterilization Act, 1975 (Act No. 2 of 1975), and promotes reproductive rights and extends freedom of choice by affording every woman the right to choose whether to have an early, safe and legal termination of pregnancy according to her individual beliefs.


BE IT ENACTED by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, as follows:-