OBTAINING SAFE ABORTION IN NIGERIA

Abortion is illegal in Nigeria except if is necessary to save the a woman’s life. Convicted individuals can face jail time of up to 14 years. The restrictive law on abortion in Nigeria has brought about unsafe abortion. An abortion is considered un safe when the unwanted pregnancy is terminated by persons lacking the necessary skills or when done in an environment lacking minimal medical standards or both. The result is the death or permanent disability of many women.
Many unsafe abortions in Nigeria take the form of women engaging in self induced abortions using harmful substances, tools or objects to terminate their pregnancies. Some are forced to patronise quacks doctors many of whom are semi literate. In many cases, abortion seeking women are turned away from hospitals or clinics by doctors; many of whom due to personal religious convictions or fear of the law refuse to offer these women the services.
It is estimated that 40 percent of abortions in Nigeria are performed by physicians in established health facilities, while the rest are performed by non physician providers. Of all hospitals and clinics that provide abortions, 87 percent are privately owned.
In a country of about 160 million people where two –thirds of the population consist of young men and women, many of whom are sexually active, the risks of unwanted pregnancy is higher. Cultural taboos associated with issues on open sex education make sex education poorly wide spread. Many parents do not feel comfortable discussing issues about sex with their children, leaving these teenagers to learn about sex mostly from their peers and sometimes in school.
Accurate data on numbers of deaths or severe disabilities resulting from unsafe abortions practices in Nigeria is difficult to come by. The truth is that thousands die every year due to unsafe abortions. It is the leading cause of maternal deaths in Nigeria.
Access to contraceptives is poor. The social sigma attached to their use is a contributing factor to higer cases of unwanted pregnancies. Many young people feel ashamed being seen purchasing condoms or contraceptives.
There is need for changes on policies that drive women to seek unsafe abortion. Improved access to contraceptives and related services could reduces unplanned pregnancies.
There is need for parents to educated youngsters on sex issues. It should not be left to school teacher alone. The deaths that result from unsafe abortions are preventible.

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Comments

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  • Aramide  On August 20, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Can you provide guidance on how to get a safe abortion in Nigeria. Thank you

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