Unsafe Abortion in Nigeria: Should Abortion be legalized in Nigeria or should abortion be criminalized in Nigeria?

My opinion does not matter here but I am very much aware that there are thousands if not millions of unsafe abortions that takes place in Nigeria inspite of the so called “restrictive abortion laws”.

Let us look at the statistics of unsafe abortion in Nigeria and the statistics of unwanted pregnancies in Nigeria……from reputable sources research, and studies.

Nearly 500,000 abortions are done in Nigeria yearly and 98 percent are unsafe abortions – Guttmucher Institute

456,000 unsafe abortions are done in Nigeria every yearly – Wikipedia

Only 40 percent of all abortions in Nigeria are done by qualified medical doctors, the remaining 60 percent are done by quacks.

In a joint study carried out by the Society of Gynecologists and Obstetricians of Nigeria and Nigeria’s Ministry of Health, estimates of Nigerian women who engage in unsafe abortion were put at about 20,000 each year.

Unsafe abortion in Nigeria
The Statistics of Unsafe abortion in Nigeria is scary

In spite of Nigeria’s highly restrictive abortion law, an estimated 1.25 million induced abortions occurred in 2012. The number doubled from an estimated 610,000 in 1996 because of both population growth and an increase in the rate of abortion – Guttmucher

The estimated abortion rate was 33 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–49 in 2012. Although this rate is greater than the 1996 rate (23 per 1,000) estimated in a previous study, the most prudent conclusion may be that the abortion rate has increased only slightly, as the two rates were calculated using different approaches – Guttmucher

In Nigeria, one in seven pregnancies (14%) ended in unsafe abortion in 2012 – Guttmucher

Unsafe abortion is higher in the North East and South South region of Nigeria but lowest in the South West. According to 2012 report by Guttmucher, “there were 27 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–49 in the South West and North Central zones; 31 per 1,000 in the North West and South East zones; and 41 and 44 per 1,000 in the North East and South South zones, respectively.”

The higher rates of abortion in the North East and South South zones can be explained by two of the main underlying factors that increase women’s need for abortion: the desire for smaller families and the nonuse of contraception. Women in the North East have the country’s lowest rate of contraceptive use (only 3% are using a method), and women in the South South have the lowest desired number of children (3.9 on average).

Among women treated in Nigerian secondary and tertiary hospitals in 2012 for complications of pregnancy or delivery, almost 10% of “near-miss events”—cases in which women would have died had the health system not intervened— were estimated to be due to unsafe abortion – Guttmucher

• In 2012, 212,000 women were treated in health facilities for complications of induced abortion. In addition, an estimated 285,000 women had complications from unsafe abortion serious enough to require treatment in health facilities, but did not obtain the care they needed – Guttmucher

Nigeria, a super religious nation, currently has a highly restrictive abortion laws that many experts and civil society organisations have termed “inconsiderate” or at best “draconian”. It only allows abortion to save the woman’s life.

These draconian abortion laws have resulted in a very high rate of unsafe abortion with an estimated 47,000 women dying yearly.

Nigeria has restrictive abortion laws. Yet our contraceptive prevalence rate remains low.
This leads to really high number of unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortion.It remains one of the most needless and preventable cause of deaths among females.

Now that you are aware that unsafe abortion is rampant in our society, are you still for or against legalization of abortion in Nigeria. Do you think 47,000 Nigerian women will still be dying annually if abortion is legalized? Do you think the statistics of unsafe termination of pregnancy will be this high if abortion is legalized?

Discuss…This is a debate..


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