Abortion Laws And Policies In Nigeria

October 28, 2020

According to the Guttmacher Institute, Nigeria has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world; with unsafe abortions being a major contributor. In spite of restrictive abortion laws in Nigeria, they are still very common.

Nigeria is a highly religious and moral country that does not allow for the expression of reproductive rights. Sex education is avoided like a plague and the use of contraception is only reserved for married women. It is believed that talking about sex education will encourage promiscuity.

Many young women who have little or no knowledge of pregnancy and contraception, end up getting pregnant and seek out the fastest, secretive and easiest ways to terminate their pregnancies. The quacks that offer dangerous and unsafe abortions range from auxiliary nurses, fake doctors, local medicine vendors to traditional birth attendants.

According to the World Health Organisation, “Unsafe abortion is a procedure for terminating an unintended pregnancy, carried out either by persons lacking the necessary skills and/or in an environment that does not conform to minimal medical standards.”

Some of their methods include insertion of sharp objects into the vagina, drinking of herbal concoctions, a combination of drugs in large doses; such as painkillers and antibiotics. Drinking dangerous chemicals; such as bleach and dye. According to WHO, the results of unsafe abortions range from infertility, death, injury, loss of blood, uterine perforation to incomplete abortion and infections.

In order to drastically reduce deaths arising from unsafe abortion cases in Nigeria, organisations such as Safe2choose work actively to provide safe abortions for women who need it. But despite all efforts at this, the word “abortion” is still met with stiff opposition, from many religious organisations and lawmakers (especially of the older generation).

An example of this opposition is the raid by the Nigerian Police on the Mariestopes Clinic in Lagos. On the 21 May 2019, officers of the Nigerian Police force raided the reproductive health clinic on the basis of allegedly providing “abortion and birth control” services for women. This issue was highly condemned by many individuals and women’s rights organisations, who were saddened by the constant infringement on women’s sexual and reproductive health rights.

Sexual and reproductive health rights — including free unrestricted access to sexual and reproductive health care and information, as well as autonomy in sexual and reproductive decision-making — are human rights; they are universal, indivisible and undeniable. And until Nigerian abortion laws are reformed to respect fundamental human rights, many women will keep dying in their numbers from complications arising from unsafe abortions. We believe the question of women’s rights is nothing else than a matter of human rights.

At PinkShoes, we explain how medical abortion works, what you need to know in advance, how it is done safely and what to expect next. You can read all this information on our site here. Our chatbot is also available 24/7 to answer all your medical abortion-related questions.

Oluwapelumi Alesinloye-King is a sexual and reproductive health professional and the country consultant for Women first digital; where she works to promote access to sexual and reproductive health information and services in Nigeria.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

June 3, 2019

Every week, we ask anonymous people to give us a window into their relationship with the Naira – their secret Naira Life. When was the first time you earned money? A scholarship when I was in 100-level. The money wasn’t coming to me – it was going to my dad’s account – but it was […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

April 3, 2020

While the rest of the world loves to treat our continent like a country, there are actually 54 African countries. So, in a bid to test your knowledge (and educate you), we’ve created a quiz to see how many of their capitals you can correctly name. Go ahead:

April 1, 2020

Everyone has a Nigerian bank that matches their personality. You could either be as likeable as GTB, as efficient as Access or as mature as First Bank. Either way, all you have to do is take this quiz and we’ll let you know with almost 100% certainty. So, go ahead:

December 11, 2019

In the past month, we’ve made quizzes that guessed the last time you had sex, how many people you’ve slept with, and just how good you are in bed. For our latest attempt, we will use your taste in Nigerian music from the 2010s to ascertain what you’re like in bed. Take to find out:

December 3, 2019

Are you a professional Yoruba demon? Are you walking around in search of whose life you can wreck at any given time? Well, this quiz knows exactly how many hearts you’ve shattered to date, and before you lie that your result is inaccurate, just remember that Zikoko is never wrong. Now, take it and be […]

More from Her

September 25, 2022

Simi and Taofeeqat became best friends in SS2. Before adulthood came between them, they gave each other cheesy love letters and long hugs. In this #LettertoHER, Simi wants Taofeeqat to know she misses her.

September 20, 2022

If your partner spent so much time in your home that it felt like they lived there, moving on can be tougher. So what happens when you can’t afford to move out to move on from the memories of your partner? 7 Nigerians who’ve been heartbroken shared their experience.

What She Said: I’ll Run For Office in 2027
September 14, 2022

Nafisa Atiku-Adejuwon talks about experiencing politics in secondary school, choosing public service over a legal career and finding purpose in helping young women enter politics through “Girls Just Want to Run”.

September 11, 2022

“In everything I wanted to do, my grandma always told me to go for it, even if I wanted to fly to the moon. She never made any of my dreams seem unachievable.”

In this personal essay, Dammy talks about her grandmother, who was also her best friend. #GrandparentsDay

What She Said: Feminism Led Me to Atheism
August 31, 2022

This week’s #ZikokoWhatSheSaid subject is a 23-year-old Nigerian woman. She tells us about discovering her feminism, pansexuality and atheism through books while living with her close-knit conservative family.

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X