Safe Abortion

What you need to know about pain-free abortions in South Africa 

We offer a same-day, safe abortion procedure for unwanted pregnancies up to 20 weeks.

At Marie Stopes South Africa, we understand that an unplanned pregnancy can be daunting and that the word ‘abortion’ has a social stigma attached that can be humiliating for women, which can lead them to seek alternative abortion procedures that are not only illegal but can also be fatal.

We are the country’s largest non-profit provider of sexual and reproductive healthcare services. Our goal is to ensure every woman knows that having an abortion is a legal human right and they do not need to be ashamed of considering having the procedure.

Q. When is an abortion illegal?

A. After 20 Weeks

12 weeks or less


You would like to have one performed.
A woman can request a Safe Abortion for any reason.

13 to 20 weeks


The pregnancy is a danger to the mother’s physical or mental health.
The pregnancy is as a result of rape or incest.
The fetus is likely to die.
The birth will affect the woman’s socioeconomic status.

20 or more weeks


We do not perform an abortion after 20 weeks.


Marie Stopes provides thousands of safe abortions every year.

At Marie Stopes, an expert nurse or doctor will provide pre-care information on the day of your appointment and make time to answer any questions you may have.

They will also provide aftercare materials to make sure you know what to expect when you get home and how to get in touch with us should you have any concerns.

Safe Abortion Procedures

We offer two types of safe abortion procedures:

1. The Marie Stopes Medical Process (often called the abortion pill or simply, ‘the pill’)
2. The Marie Stopes Procedure (which is a minor, same-day surgical procedure)

Based on the stage of your pregnancy, our accredited nurses and doctors can recommend which safe abortion method will suit you best.

In the South African Constitution, it states, ‘The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1996 protects the right of women of any age to access abortion legally in South Africa, at a designated facility by a trained provider up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Furthermore, women under the age of 18 do not need consent from their parents to have an abortion’.

Currently, we have 17 safe abortion clinics across the country that offer the procedures.
We will also supply you with any support – and help – you may need.

For a safe abortion , please visit our website which provides a webform that you can fill in and book an appointment. Alternatively, you can call us on 0800 11 77 85.

Find your nearest Safe Abortion Clinic

We have safe abortion clinics in the following areas of South Africa:

Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North-West and Western Cape.

We have expanded our national footprint with the launch of additional Women's Healthcare Units (HCUs) intended to increase access to much-needed women's reproductive healthcare services in South Africa.

What is an HCU?

Our HCU (women's health care unit) is an innovative solution to give more women in South Africa access to superior-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare services. HCUs are located in a community-centric medical facility; this allows for convenience and confidentiality.


What is an unsafe abortion?

Safe abortion is provided by a specially trained nurse or doctor in a facility designated by the Department of Health.

Marie Stopes does NOT provide services outside of our centres, so be cautious of anyone using our name or logo at centres not listed on our official website.

Watch out for any abortion provider who:

  • does not have a landline phone number or a fixed address
  • does not provide a clinical examination and determine the correct stage of pregnancy
  • does not provide aftercare services or make themselves available for questions
  • offers to provide medical abortion tablets beyond 9 weeks or any abortion service beyond 20 weeks

Contact Us
For more info on Abortion Pills

0800 11 77 85
or whatsapp
Contact us today to make an appointment. Based on your stage of pregnancy, one of our highly-trained medical professionals will be able to recommend which procedure suits you best. Should you choose the abortion pill, we can supply a prescription for you.

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You can expect intermittent mild to severe cramps whether you choose the medical process (often called the abortion pill) or procedure (a minor same-day procedure). However, the pain can be managed by medication.

The cost of our abortion services varies according to:

  • the location of the Marie Stopes centre you choose
  • the stage of your pregnancy
  • the method you choose (medical process or procedure)

Please contact us for more information.

Yes. Neither abortion method will prevent you from getting pregnant in the future.

  • The abortion pill is 98 – 99 percent effective.
  • The procedure is 99 percent effective.

Medication abortion:
You will take two pills. The first pill is commonly known as the abortion pill (mifepristone). It stops the ovaries from producing the hormone, progesterone – which is needed for pregnancy. The second pill, called misoprostol, needs to be taken 6 – 48 hours after taking the first pill. It causes cramping and bleeding which empties your uterus.

Procedure abortion:
A doctor will stretch your uterus and insert a hollow tube, removing the lining of the uterus through aspiration of the tissue.

The most common after abortion side effects include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sore breasts
  • Fatigue
  • Light vaginal bleeding

Emergency complications can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Excessive heavy bleeding
  • Strong-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Severe abdominal pain

How we help

Our vision is to raise awareness about accessibility to women’s healthcare facilities throughout the country for women who need safe and legal
abortion care. Let’s work together towards a future where every birth is wanted.

  • help1
    Safe abortion service
    We help women to safely terminate their pregnancies. Our clinics also provide immediate, life-saving care for women suffering from...
  • help2
    Abortion pills
    Contact us today to make an appointment. Based on your stage of pregnancy, one of our highly-trained medical professionals will be...
  • help3
    Family planning
    We offer a wide range of different types of contraceptives for men & women. Short-acting methods include the pill (oral contra...

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CONFIDENTIALITY. We guarantee your rights to confidentiality.
All personal information submitted remains private and confidential.