Joburg High Court orders Gauteng Health to abort teenager’s pregnancy

Joburg High Court orders Gauteng Health to abort teenager’s pregnancy. After a pregnant adolescent was denied access to abortion services at a basic public health-care facility in Gauteng, the non-profit organization Section27 applauded the South Gauteng High Court’s decision to issue an order ordering the Gauteng Department of Health to take action.

The Gauteng Department of Health was ordered by the court to start preparations for the minor’s abortion by Monday.

In violation of her rights under the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act 92 of 1996 (CTOPA), the minor had previously made numerous attempts to get the medical treatment but was consistently refused away.

It is stated that the medical professional at the girl’s main medical facility misinformed her that she was ineligible for an abortion due to the position of the fetus and failed to refer her to a tertiary hospital. The abortion procedure was delayed by this refusal.

“The CTOPA provides that women and girls are legally permitted to obtain a TOP (abortion) up to and including the 20th week of pregnancy, on non-medical grounds.

“The minor is now 20 weeks and four days pregnant, with only two days remaining to obtain the TOP lawfully,” Section27 said.

The primary healthcare center neglected to refer the girl to a tertiary healthcare facility, which infringed her rights to reproductive health services, bodily autonomy, and access to health-care services, the organization claimed.

Section 27 of the Constitution states that “everyone has the right to access health care services, including reproductive health care,” and that the respondents in the case (the member of the Executive Council in the Gauteng Department of Health and the head of the Department of Health in Gauteng) failed to uphold this constitutional obligation.

“Girls and women are entitled to bodily autonomy and to assert their right to sexual and reproductive health. The urgent court’s finding is an important step in securing a TOP in terms of section 2(1)(b) of the CTOPA,” it said.