The Open Public Health Journal

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Experiences Leading to the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Amongst Teenagers at a Regional Hospital in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

Tebogo M. Mothiba1, Livhuwani Muthelo2, *, Khatazile Mabaso2
1 Faculty of Health, Sciences Dean’s Office, University of Limpopo, Limpopo, South Africa
2 Department of Nursing Sciences, University of Limpopo, Limpopo, South Africa



In order to promote women’s rights relating to their sexual and reproductive health, termination of pregnancy in South Africa was introduced. Health professionals are expected to assist women in realizing their wishes if they want to terminate unwanted pregnancies. Unfortunately, women still experience challenges relating to the Termination of Pregnancy, more specifically, pregnant teenagers.


The purpose of this study was to describe and explore the occurrences leading to the termination of pregnancy amongst teenagers.


The qualitative research method was adopted to determine occurrences related to the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy amongst teenagers in Mpumalanga Province. Data were collected by conducting semi-structured interviews with teenagers to gain insight into the phenomenon studied. Permission to conduct the study at the hospital was obtained from the Department of Health Mpumalanga Province and written informed consent was obtained from participants prior to the sessions. Teenagers between the ages of 13-19 years who opted for, or had already, terminated their pregnancy participated in the study.


The study revealed that the termination of unplanned pregnancy amongst teenagers was influenced by different life experiences. Those experiences are 1) the concern of being rejected by parents and other family members, 2) fear of being ridiculed by peers and the entire community, 3) feelings of embarrassment and shame, and 4) how the teen’s parents are likely to react when they are made aware of the pregnancy.

Conclusions and Recommendations:

The study revealed different circumstances, which contributed to the decision of some pregnant teenagers to opt for the termination of their pregnancy. It is of vital importance that support services be available continuously for the teenagers who opted for termination of pregnancy. More importantly, the supportive environment created by family members and close friends is of the utmost importance, because they are better placed to see the changes or see how the teens are coping pre- and post-abortion. This will enable teenagers to feel that they are not alone and enable them to cope in both pre-and-post phases.

Key words: Health care professionals, Experiences, Teenagers, Choice of Termination of Pregnancy, Unplanned pregnancy, Abortion.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2020
Volume: 13
First Page: 489
Last Page: 496
Publisher Id: TOPHJ-13-489
DOI: 10.2174/1874944502013010489

Article History:

Received Date: 22/3/2020
Revision Received Date: 24/6/2020
Acceptance Date: 5/7/2020
Electronic publication date: 22/09/2020
Collection year: 2020

© 2020 Mothiba et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Department of Nursing Sciences, University of Limpopo, South Africa, Limpopo, Private Bag X1106 SOVENGA 0727, Tel: 015 268 3973. E-mail address:

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