The effect of a constitution and bill of rights on abortion in South Africa: A comparative study
This dissertation explores the effect that, the new democratic order could have on the abortion laws of South Africa. In particular, it investigates how the Transitional Constitution with its Bill of Rights may impact, on these laws, and some speculation on the import of the final Constitution is hazarded. The two major issues that are examined are therefore abortion and constitutionalism and it, is appropriate to begin with working definitions of these concepts. Abortion, sometimes known as termination of pregnancy, has both medical and IegaIly definitions. The selection of at definition has a lot to do with the definer, attitude towards abortion. An abortion can occur spontaneously or because it is induced. Medically it is usually used to describe the process whereby the contents of the uterus are expelled. This is usually deemed an abortion if it, occurs before viability, or the point after which a foetus can survive outside the womb independently. Medically, an induced abortion after viability is known as premature labour. Legally speaking an abortion can take place at any point during gestation. !!bile_ in the past it. was largely considered criminal, no matter at what, point, it occurred, whether it. is so characterised currently depends on the law in a particular country. Thus, the illegality of an abortion and when such illegality arises varies from country to country. The point at which pregnancy commences is also the subject of debate. Some fix it after fertilisation or the moment. when the ovum and sperm join. Others, however, see implantation, when the developing egg or blastocyst, is implanted in the waII of the uterus, as the point which marks the beginning of pregnancy.