In South Africa, it is legal to have an abortion upon request until the 13th week of pregnancy. The procedure is performed by trained certified midwives or registered nurses at specific primary care clinics. However, social stigma exists around the procedure, and there is a shortage of services in rural areas where about 32% of the population live.
Urban areas near major cities have better access to abortion services, with women in rural areas travelling longer hours to access abortion care.
Nonetheless, accessing these services can still be challenging. This is because there is a shortage of trained and willing abortion providers. And delays in seeking care are common.
Many health problems and deaths related to unsafe abortions can be prevented by providing comprehensive safe abortion care. The introduction of medical abortion, which involves taking specific pills, has greatly improved access to early abortions. In fact, most abortions in wealthier countries are now done using these pills alone. Taking the pills at home is just as safe and effective as having the procedure done at a clinic, especially up to the 10th week of pregnancy.
Our recent study examined the acceptability of implementing telemedicine (remote medical care using technology) for early medical abortion in South Africa. The goal of our study was to understand how people in South Africa felt about using telemedicine and whether it could be a viable option for expanding access to safe and legal abortion services.
Our findings suggest that telemedicine has the potential to improve access to safe and legal abortion services, particularly in areas where clinics may be far away or difficult to reach. Telemedicine can offer a practical alternative that respects individuals’ autonomy, privacy, and reproductive rights.
Read more at: https://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/159/241181.html