IPAC Abortion Law Review 2015

A non-governmental organization, IPAC has called for a re­view of Nigeria’s abortion law, saying no fewer than 760,000 girls within the age bracket of 25 reportedly car­ry out abortion annually.

Addressing participants drawn from various media house in the country, at the just concluded 3- day train­ing organised by the organ­isation in Abuja, Dr Godwin Akaba, a consultant Obstetri­cian and Gynecologist at the University of Abuja Teach­ing Hospital, Gwagwalada said abortion is the highest promoter of maternal mor­tality in Nigeria.

According to him, “Ni­geria’s maternal mortality rate due to abortion has in­creased over the years and it is on record that over 400 women die as at the time this survey was carried out this year.”

He however frowned at the low response from wom­en accessing medical help with regards to pregnancy, adding that less than 60% of women in Nigeria attend Ante-natal out of which less than 36% give birth in the hospital.

He added that unsafe abortion contributes to at least 13% of maternal mor­tality adding however that more than 456,000 unsafe abortions are done with a conservative estimate of 3,000 women dying yearly in Nigeria.

“Women who survive unsafe abortion may suffer acute and short term com­plications including haem­orrhage, sepsis, trauma to various organs as well as long term sequelae like infertility and increasing risk of ectopic pregnancy. “Globally, causes of ma­ternal mortality include Eclampsia, 12%, Severe bleeding, 24%, Obstruct­ed Labour, 8%, Indirect Cause, 20%, infection, 15% and Unsafe Abortion, 13%. These Unsafe abortion amounts to 67,000 deaths each year.”

Akaba listed lack of contraception access and use as the leading cause of maternal mortality as this results in unintended preg­nancy, which could lead to unsafe abortion adding that only 10% women in Nigeria use modern meth­od contraceptives.

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