Abortion and Sterilization Act, 1975
Act 2 of 1975
- Published in South African Government Gazette 4608 on 12 March 1975
- Assented to on 28 February 1975
- Commenced on 12 March 1975
- [This is the version of this document from 1 August 1978 and includes any amendments published up to 1 December 2023.]
- [Amended by Abortion and Sterilization Amendment Act, 1976 (Act 18 of 1976) on 31 March 1976]
- [Amended by Native Laws Amendment Proclamation, 1979 (Proclamation AG3 of 1979) on 1 August 1978]
1. DefinitionsIn this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates -“abortion” means the abortion of a live foetus of a woman with intent to kill such foetus;“incest” means carnal intercourse between two persons who are related to each other and by reason of such relationship incompetent to marry each other;“magistrate” includes an additional and an assistant magistrate;“medical practitioner” means a person registered as such under the Medical, Dental and Supplementary Health Service Professions Act, 1974 (Act No. 56 of 1974);[Medical practitioners are now registered under the Medical and Dental Act 10 of 2004.]“Minister” means the Minister of Health;“prescribed” means prescribed by regulation made under this Act;“psychiatrist” means a person registered as such under the Medical, Dental and Supplementary Health Service Professions Act, 1974;[Psychiatrists, as medical practitioners, are now registered under the Medical and Dental Act 10 of 2004.]“State-controlled institution” means a hospital conducted by the State (including a provincial administration), and such part of any other institution, other than such a hospital, as may be hired and controlled by a provincial administration, and a hospital maintained out of moneys provided out of the South African Development Trust Fund mentioned in section 8 of the Development Trust and Land Act, 1936 (Act No. 18 of 1936);[The terminology in the definition of “State-controlled institution” was amended by AG 3 of 1979. The Development Trust and Land Act 18 of 1936 was repealed by the Communal Land Reform Act 5 of 2002.]“sterilization” means a surgical operation performed for the purpose of making the person on whom it is performed, incapable of procreation, but does not include castration;“unlawful carnal intercourse” means rape, incest and unlawful carnal intercourse with a female idiot or imbecile in contravention of section 15 of the Immorality Act, 1957 (Act No. 23 of 1957).
2. Prohibition of abortionNo person shall procure an abortion otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
3. Circumstances in which abortion may be procured
4. Sterilization of persons incapable of consenting thereto
5. Place where abortion or sterilization may take place
6. Approval by medical practitioner in charge of institution, and certificate by magistrate
8. RegulationsThe Minister may make regulations -
9. Participation in or assistance at abortion which is not prohibited, or a sterilizationA medical practitioner (other than a medical practitioner referred to in section 6(1)), a nurse or any person employed in any other capacity at an institution referred to in section 5(1) shall, notwithstanding any contract or the provisions of any other law, not be obliged to participate in or assist with any abortion contemplated in section 3 or any sterilization contemplated in section 4.
10. Offences and penalties
11. Application of Act in South West Africa
12. Amendment of section 2 of Act 38 of 1909 (Transvaal), as amended by section 19 of Act 26 of 1963Section 2 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1909 (of the Transvaal), is hereby amended by the deletion of subsection (8).[The cited law has no relevance to Namibia.]
13. Short titleThis Act shall be called the Abortion and Sterilization Act, 1975.
History of this document
01 August 1978 this version
Amended by Native Laws Amendment Proclamation, 1979
31 March 1976
12 March 1975
28 February 1975
Cited documents 1
Documents citing this one 3
- S v Absalom (3) (CRIMINAL 13 of 2019)  NAHCNLD 22 (26 February 2019)
- S v Iyambo (1) (CRIMINAL 179 of 2007)  NAHC 149 (21 December 2007)