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Abortion Counselling Certificate Course

The South African Choice on Termination of Pregnancy (CTOP) Act (Act No.92 of 1996) states that the state shall promote the provision of non-mandatory and non-directive counselling before and after an abortion of a pregnancy (CTOP Act No. 92, 1996). However, abortion remains inaccessible to majority of womxn. Research specific to the public health sector in the Eastern Cape (EC) was conducted by the CSSR. This led to a policy brief (Mavuso, du Toit, & Macleod, 2017) and Guidelines (Mavuso, du Toit, Macleod, & Stevens, 2018) links to which may be found at the bottom of the page. Both documents form the basis and rationale for the Abortion Counselling Project. Two research studies fall under this project.

The first is titled Developing a women-centred abortion counselling training course for healthcare providers: an action research project. Espousing a reproductive justice (RJ) framework, this study aims to operationalise a set of Abortion Counselling Guidelines, published by the CSSR, into a training course for in-service nurses in the EC. An action research methodology is being used to develop, conduct, document and improve the abortion counselling training course. The course has recently undergone refinement and will now be conducted online. It will utilise a variety of online education tools such as synchronous teaching via video conferencing live chat and instant messenger; as well as asynchronous learning. This ‘blended’ learning approach will include two weeks of field-work for the participants. The goals of the training course are to: build nurses’ skills in abortion counselling; promote women-centred and contextually-relevant counselling based on RJ principles and the Guidelines published by CSSR; dispel myths regarding abortion consequences with empirical evidence-based research; and to contribute towards nurses Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

The second research project is titled Nurse's experiences of an abortion counselling training course and their understandings of quality abortion services. It functions as a follow up to the action research project and also informs the course during the action research cycles of observation, reflection  and refinement. It aims to explore nurse’s experiences of the abortion counselling training course; whether participating in the abortion training course changes or improve nurses’ practice of abortion counselling; and lastly their understandings of quality abortion services.

The project is taking place in partnership with the Department of Health, Eastern Cape (DoH, EC). The research project and course have been approved by RUESC, the DoH, EC and the RU short course application division.

Research Team

Catriona Macleod

Yamini Kalyanaraman

Laurah Mogonong

Last Modified: Fri, 25 Sep 2020 11:16:26 SAST