Abortion in Botswana is only legal if the abortion will save the woman's life, if the pregnancy gravely endangers the woman's physical or mental health, or if it is a result of rape or incest. In Botswana, abortions that meet these requirements must be performed within the first 16 weeks of pregnancy in a government hospital and must be approved by two physicians.
Though women in Botswana are recognized as having some of the best access to abortions in Sub-Saharan Africa because of these exceptions, many women are still resorting to unsafe abortions and self-induced abortions, commonly leading to maternal death.
In Botswana, many families still follow the lobolo custom where men pay a woman's family in order to take her as a bride. This has established an expectation that husbands have paid for and own their wives' bodies, including their reproductive rights. Even though this sentiment may lead to pregnancy that is a result of rape, hospitals and clinics are unlikely to approve marital rape cases as justifying abortion, as cultural norms suggest husbands are entitled to their wives' bodies.