n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Life circumstances and reasons that compel women to seek termination of pregnancy in Vhembe district of health care services - : management of health care services

Supplement 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Unplanned pregnancy among the youth is a major public health concern because of the association with unsafe sexual practices. Young women, particularly in rural communities, continue to be most vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies which often end in induced abortion. In South Africa, circumstances influencing women who seek abortion are not thoroughly investigated. The study explored the circumstances shaping the women's decision to seek termination of pregnancy and assessed the role of the male partner in the decision making process. The study used qualitative approach to conduct in-depth interviews with women seeking termination of pregnancy in a public rural hospital in Thulamela Municipality in Limpopo Province. A total of 30 in-depth interviews were conducted with women aged 15-40 years. Participants pointed to a number of related reasons that compelled them to seek termination of pregnancy. Being too young to have a baby, fear of parental reaction to unplanned pregnancy, and incomplete educational attainment were reasons raised by younger women who were still attending school. For older women, termination of pregnancy was a result of an unstable or weak relationship with partner and was related to financial difficulties. The decision to seek termination of pregnancy was influenced by life and social circumstances which are in relation to each other. Given that all pregnancies were unplanned, there is need to revisit programmes to provide appropriate and client-friendly family planning services to reach adolescents and young women who are at higher risk of seeking termination of pregnancy.

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