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Abortion laws into action: implementing legal reform.

Authors
  • Gerhardt, A J
Type
Published Article
Journal
Initiatives in reproductive health policy
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1997
Volume
2
Issue
1
Pages
1–3
Identifiers
PMID: 12292776
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

The worldwide trend towards liberalizing abortion laws has resulted in reduced abortion-related mortality in areas where legal abortion is accessible. In countries considering abortion reform, policy-makers and health care providers have a responsibility to ensure that provisions of any new law can be met. Preparations underway to prepare for South Africa's new abortion law can serve as a guideline for such action. A new abortion law calls for policy changes that may include 1) developing new standards, protocols, and guidelines for abortion care services; 2) ensuring provision of adequate trained staff willing to provide abortions; 3) streamlining administrative regulations to avoid delays; 4) establishing regulations and mechanisms for drug and equipment supply and distribution; 5) restructuring the health system to accommodate provision of abortion services; 6) allocating funds for new abortion services; and 7) reviewing and revising security measures. In addition, health professionals will require training in abortion provision, staff will need information updates about aspects of the legislation, and administrators and providers in a position to impede provision of services must be made aware of the affect of unsafe abortion on maternal health. Researchers should document the effect of the new law on women's health, the provision of reproductive health services, and the community. IEC (information, education, communication) activities will be required to inform the public about the new law and services, establish sex education programs in schools and health facilities, and mobilize family planning organizations and programs to help reduce the incidence of repeat abortions.

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