Deliberate delays in offering abortion to pregnant women with fetal anomalies after 24 weeks' gestation at a centre in South Africa
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South Africa has an abortion law which codifies the broad themes of reproductiverights set out in the Constitution of South Africa, other laws and national guidelines.Certain wording of the conditions in the Choice Act for abortion after 20 weeks'gestation, are open to interpretation, being‘severe malformation of the fetus’and‘risk of injury to the fetus’. From 24 weeks onwards, abortion is carried out byfeticide/induced fetal cardiac asystole (‘IFCA’) and subsequent induction of labour inSouth Africa. Some maternal‐fetal units have developed guidelines to assist cliniciansand patients in decision‐making around eligibility for abortion after 20 weeks'gestation, given the broad terms in the law. We consider the guideline used by aninstitution in the Western Cape for abortion after 23 weeks and 6 days gestation, interms of its alignment with the law on reproductive rights and its compliance withfair and transparent procedures. We also note its effect on respect for patients andon staff professionalism.