Nurses' religious and cultural beliefs and its influences on healthcare provision for women seeking termination of pregnancy : a case study of Grey's hospital.
The political liberation of South Africa in 1994 gave its people the right to freedom of expression, thought and religion. This has led to the promulgation of the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1996 (Act No. 2 of 1996) in order to promote the freedom of women and give them agency over reproductive health. The Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Act not only promoted reproductive health among women, but it also shaped the outlook of nursing practice to ensure that the termination of pregnancy service is translated into good nursing practice at public hospitals across the country. This study, which is qualitative in nature, explores nurses’ religious and cultural beliefs and its effect on healthcare provision to women seeking termination of pregnancy services at public hospitals. Six nursing professionals involved in termination of pregnancy services at a public hospital were interviewed as research participants in the study with the aim of obtaining individual opinions regarding its provision and the significance and impact of their religious convictions in service delivery at a public hospital. The thematic analysis method was used to interpret and analyse the data received and to reach conclusions and recommendations for the study. The major themes that emerged from the research participants were as follows: (i) personal conviction and preferences in addressing issues such as an ethics of care and a human rights discourse in public health; (ii) social attitudes about termination of pregnancy, covering issues such as affirmation, acceptance or stigmatisation in regard to termination of pregnancy; (iii) the religious convictions of nurses and the termination of pregnancy and the extent to which religion is a deficit or asset in its provision at public hospitals in South Africa.