Abortion Statistics in South Africa

Access to “safe” abortion does not result in abortion decline.

Gathering of abortion statistics in South Africa is a difficult task because they are not as detailed as we would like to provide; only very basic information is supplied, such as age of the mother, gestational age of the baby, and provincial breakdown is offered. Having this in mind, the following statistics might not be completely accurate, but they are what is best available.

An examination of the number of abortions over the last nineteen years, for which statistics are available for eighteen of those years (1997-2014), reveals an enormous increase: the number of abortions reported in 1997 was 26,519 and those reported in 2014 were 89,126¹.

Furthermore, abortion statistics in South Africa reveal that access to “safe abortion” does not result in abortion decline, as often assumed by international abortion agencies. According to an October 2007 news release from the Guttmacher Institute, abortion is declining worldwide and mostly where legal². However, in 1996, the last year abortion was illegal in South Africa, there were a total of 1600 induced abortions reported³. When compared to the total of abortions by the end of 2006, that is an increase of 5,244.56% in South Africa. As a result, “safe” and legal abortion has not resulted in a decrease of unborn babies killed in South Africa, but rather an astronomical increase.

It is therefore tragically accurate to say that the numbers indicate little or no change in behaviour towards abortion. “A woman’s right to choose” continues to enjoy widespread enjoyment.

South African Statistics

Number of abortions per day Number of abortions per week Number of abortions per year
233 Over 1,500 Over 85,000



  1. Historical Abortion Statistics in South Africa. Compiled by Wm Robert Johnston, last updated, 13 September 2015.
  2. “Abortion Declines Worldwide. Falls Most Where Abortion is Mostly Legal” was a news piece written by Joerg Dreweke of the Guttmacher Institute. The article was based on a study by Gilda Sedgh. Stanley Henshaw, Susheela Singh, Elisabeth Aahman, and Igbal Shah titled “Induced Abortion: Rates and Trends Worldwide”.
  3. Historical Abortion Statistics in South Africa. Compiled by Wm Robert Johnston, last updated, 13 September 2015.

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