South African Journal of Bioethics and Law

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Reproductive health issues emanating from the Children’s Act No. 38 of 2005 as amended in 2008: A pilot study of the rights of parents versus rights of children

ME Ncube, E Ross


The study took as its point of departure the Children’s Act No, 38 of 2005 implemented in 2010, which aims to promote the preservation and strengthening of families and to give effect to the rights of children as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. When the Act was introduced certain segments of society applauded the government for its efforts to promote the rights of children, while others condemned the government’s approach towards parents’ rights in relation to reproductive health issues affecting their children. The primary aim of the research project was to explore the views of a group of parents in Johannesburg Metro Region 11 regarding reproductive health care as embedded in the Children’s Act. A small-scale, descriptive, cross-sectional pilot research design was employed which involved individual interviews with 35 participants. The main findings that emerged from the study were that participants did not participate in the process leading up to the promulgation of the Act and consequently had little knowledge about the Act or its objectives. The fact that participants did not support certain clauses on reproductive health care and were of the opinion that their rights as parents were being violated has implications for amendment of the Act.

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