Abortion: Some insights into power and patriarchy

Walker, Liz
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As in the rest of the world, abortion in South Africa, is a pressing social proble (2). It is also an issue about which we know and understand very little, in part because the question of abortion has received limited attention in both the popular and academic literature in this country (3). The issue of abortion in South Africa has generally been kept silent. Two reasons can be cited for this. Firstly, the availability and accessibility of abortion have been determined by the medical profession and the State, both historically dominated by white men (4). Secondly, political and women's organisations in South Africa have been both divided and silent on the issue. Reproductive politics has assumed little political profile. Abortion, and indeed "fighting for a woman's right to choose, was not like being part of any other political cause, [because] the issue is not 'malestream' politics" (5). The fight against apartheid has assumed a far greater significance than reproductive politics (6).
African Studies Seminar series. Paper presented 20 March 1995
Abortion. Social aspects. South Africa, Nurses. South Africa. Attitudes