Induced Abortion in Nigeria

  • MA Lamina


Objective: To obtain information on societal attitude to the issues of family planning, unwanted pregnancy, abortion, adoption of children and laws relating to them.
Design: Focused group discussions.
Setting: Twelve subgroups in the urban and rural areas of Ogun State, Nigeria were identified, and focus group sessions held for each subgroup.
Subjects: Males and females, with their ages ranging from 15 years to above 50 years drawn from different segments of the community.
Intervention: A set of guidelines/questions for the FGD were developed, field-tested and used.
Main outcome measures: Rich information on such relevant issues as family planning, unwanted pregnancy, abortion and adoption of children, and the laws relating to them..
Results: Participants felt that there was high prevalence of unwanted pregnancy and abortion particularly among youths. They had high level of awareness of contraceptives and attributed its low use to negative side-effects, high cost and provider bias. More Christians than Muslims favoured planning of pregnancies. Majority of the respondents had negative perception of induced abortion. Some of them supported abortion if the education of the young girl would be disrupted, if paternity of pregnancy is in dispute, or if it would save the family from shame as in rape or incest. Participants supported the enactment of laws that would make adoption of unwanted children easier.
Conclusion: There is a need for policymakers to address the issue of abortion and unwanted children, and enact acceptable abortion and adoption laws to protect the rights of women and children in Nigeria.

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eISSN: 0012-835X