Experiences of registered midwives assisting with termination of pregnancies at a tertiary level hospital

  • P Meyers
  • B Parkes
  • B Green
  • J Turner
Keywords: Termination of Pregnancy, pregnancy, phenomenological, abortion, midwives


The implementation of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, Act No. 92 of 1996 brought many challenges for the registered nurses/midwife assisting in the termination of pregnancy. In the gynaecological wards at a tertiary level hospital, registered nurses/midwives assist with the termination of pregnancies for women in the second trimester (13-20 weeks), using an oral medication, Misoprostol. A qualitative phenomenological study of the experiences of registered midwives who assist in termination of pregnancies was conducted. Registered nurses/midwives, each with at least six months experience in the assistance of terminations of pregnancies participated in this study. Indepth interviews were conducted with the participants. The audiotaped interviews were transcribed and analysed for themes and patterns within the transcriptions. Five theme categories emerged: obstacles experienced by the registered midwives, feelings evoked by the experiences, conflicts encountered, the coping mechanisms utilised and the need for support systems. Recommendations include the provision of support structures for registered midwives working in this setting.

Keywords: Termination of Pregnancy; pregnancy; phenomenological; abortion; midwives

Health SA Gesondheid Vol. 10 (1) 2005: pp. 15-25

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2071-9736
print ISSN: 1025-9848