PREVENTION IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN CURE.
If you want to be sexually active, use contraception. As a female, you can protect yourself 99% against unwanted pregnancy by using a contraceptive pill, injection or implant. It is freely available to everyone at clinics throughout South Africa. You do not need your parents’ consent to use contraception.
Confirming a pregnancy is a joy to most women, but an unplanned pregnancy is often a shock, a cause of panic and stress. “Early pregnancy and motherhood in South Africa forces many girls to drop out of school, traps many in a cycle of poverty dependant on public assistance, and leaves many stigmatised by society for being teenage mothers or forced into early marriage.”
What are your options with an unplanned pregnancy?
You created life when you fell pregnant. The life you made changes your life forever. There are three options available to you when you are pregnant:
- Raise the child yourself
Each of these comes with lifelong consequences.
1. Raise the child:
If you embrace pregnancy as a gift from God and raise your child, despite the challenges you might face, the child will bring you immense joy and heartache in different ways – that is just how life is. f you are a single mother, your family can assist in raising the baby.
2. Give the child up for Adoption:
If you choose to give your baby up for adoption – it will allow you to do the things you planned for your life. However, you may experience intense loss, grief, regret and guilt. You may have a hard time for the rest of your life when it is your child’s birthday. You may always wonder if the child is well. Some of these feelings may become life companions.
More information on how to have your baby adopted:
- In section 233(4) of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005, a person must prove that an adoption social worker counselled them before signing permission.
- If you’re a parent or guardian of the child, complete Form 61, the parent or guardian must consent for a child to be adopted.
- Read more: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/service/giving-child-adoption.
3. End the pregnancy by Abortion:
If you choose to do an abortion – and end it all, you will be able to continue with your life without any obligations. But – the truth is life starts at conception. You have life growing inside you. Abortion means destroying life on purpose.
It may be hard to deal with, especially for religious women. Although many women who choose this option initially felt relieved and calm. Eventually, it might trigger intense emotions of guilt, regret, loss and depression in women – even years afterwards.
- Any female may request an abortion n South Africa up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.
- Pregnancies that result from rape qualify for an in-hospital abortion up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Note: if you are younger than 16 years and your baby’s father is older than 16 years, you can qualify for an abortion on the grounds of statutory rape until 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Before you decide what to do – consider counselling and talk through all available options.
Statistics on unwanted /unplanned pregnancies:
- “Mothers with tertiary education (11,4%) were four times less likely to have unwanted births compared to mothers with no education (46,3%).”
- “New figures from the Gauteng Department of Health show that more than 23,000 girls under 18 gave birth between April 2020 and March 2021 – of which 934 were under 14 – compared to 14,577 girls aged 19 and under having babies in the same period a year earlier.”
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