South Africa's largest abortion services provider, Marie Stopes, is gearing up for what they describe as "the post-holiday abortion rush".
Call centre coordinator, Patrick Mndaweni, said yesterday that they were expecting anything from a 10 to 14percent increase in the demand for pregnancy terminations in the first few weeks of this year.
He said the biggest target risk group were teenagers and schoolgirls. In other cases it would be students who had gone on holiday and ended up with an unwanted pregnancy.
He also urged women not to pursue "backstreet" abortions because these could lead to disease, infertility and even death.
According to a study conducted by the World Health Organisation last year, between 19 to 20 million illegal abortions are conducted every year. An estimated 68000 women die as a result of these abortions.
Jock Strachan, the spokesman for Marie Stopes, said women should contact one of the many service providers, in the form of private hospitals or centres like Marie Stopes on their toll free number.