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Sterilisation Act, 1998 (Act No. 44 of 1998)



To provide for the right to sterilisation; to determine the circumstances under which sterilisation may be performed and, in particular, the circumstances under which sterilisation may be performed on persons incapable of consenting or incompetent to consent due to mental disability; and to provide for matters connected therewith.






RECOGNISING that the Constitution protects the rights to bodily and psychological integrity of persons which includes the right to make decisions concerning reproduction and the right 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; and


WHEREAS the inability to give consent should not automatically entail the loss of constitutional rights and whereas it is necessary to ensure that mentally disabled persons are able to exercise these rights as far as possible;


THEREFORE, in order to restore, protect and promote the human dignity of persons, in particular those who are incapable of consenting or who are mentally disabled, by ensuring that decisions about sterilisation are made in a manner that is responsible and considerate,


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