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.

Avatar

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

consequences of teen pregnancies
June 10, 2021

I read a lot of books growing up about the consequences of teen pregnancies and it was always interesting to me how teenagers were treated without a care in such conversations. Nothing about how they feel or how it happened and how to prevent it — just age-old fear-mongering. In this article, four Nigerian women […]

Nigerian women celebrating Ileya.
July 20, 2021

Ileya, also called Eid-el Kabir or ram Sallah is a great time to connect with family and friends over juicy pieces of fried ram. As with other things, women have a specific experience of Ileya that is often missing from the conversation. In this article, eight Nigerian women talk about celebrating Ileya.  Farida, 26  I’ve […]

October 28, 2020

For this week’s What She Said, I spoke to Chioma, who had a life-changing experience at 19. She talks about what it felt like losing her leg to an accident at 19, how she has adapted to the change and getting a first-class in law school.  Tell me about the accident. I remember it like […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

July 28, 2021

The subject of today’s What She Said is a 24-year-old woman who has a very rocky relationship with her stepmum. She talks about how she misses her mum, the ill-treatment she got at the hands of her stepmum, and the medical condition that messes up her self confidence. What’s your earliest childhood memory? It’s driving […]

July 27, 2021

Not everyone gets to be the rich Nigerian aunty, some of us have to be the broke aunty to bring the balance. If you are reading this, you are probably in doubt of what type of aunty you are. There’s a high chance you are a broke Nigerian aunt, and here are some signs to […]

July 27, 2021

With Nigerian Aunties, it is one of two things. Either they make life soft or a living hell for you. There’s the one that is basically your elder sister and the one that is always in your business 24/7. Here are 8 types of Nigerian aunties. 1.The rich Nigerian aunty This type of Nigerian aunty is […]

two women with curly hair
July 27, 2021

If you found out your younger sex was having sex, how would you react? We spoke to three Nigerian women about how they found out that their younger sisters were sexually active and how they reacted. Here’s what they had to say:  IB, 24 One day, we were gisting and she said,  “You know I’m […]

July 27, 2021

Smartphone brand, TECNO, has just received the 2021 Beacon of Information and Communications Technology (BoICT) Award for “Mobile Phone Brand of the Year”. This will make it the second time the brand will be getting this recognition after it did in 2020. This achievement reaffirms TECNO’s innovative capabilities as a leader in the mobile phone […]

Recommended Quizzes

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

October 30, 2019

2010 was a game-changing one for Nollywood, with our movies making serious cash and getting international acclaim. So, which of these hits released between 2010 and 2019 — from the pace-setting The Wedding Party to the divisive Trip To Jamaica — best suits your personality? Well, that’s what this quiz is here to answer:

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 […]

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:

November 11, 2019

Today, we are going to be using your taste in music to determine how good you actually are in bed. All you need to do is create the ultimate Nigerian hit — from the lead artist to the producer — and we’ll tell you if all your partners leave satisfied, or if you are just […]

More from Her

July 28, 2021

The subject of today’s What She Said is a 24-year-old woman who has a very rocky relationship with her stepmum. She talks about how she misses her mum, the ill-treatment she got at the hands of her stepmum, and the medical condition that messes up her self confidence. What’s your earliest childhood memory? It’s driving […]

two women with curly hair
July 27, 2021

If you found out your younger sex was having sex, how would you react? We spoke to three Nigerian women about how they found out that their younger sisters were sexually active and how they reacted. Here’s what they had to say:  IB, 24 One day, we were gisting and she said,  “You know I’m […]

diagram of the female reproductive system
July 25, 2021

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is still largely unspoken about across Nigeria. Many people may have heard about it but a lot of them don’t know what’s true or false about the condition. Here are five myths and facts about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Every woman with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome grows hair in unlikely places.  Though a […]

black woman in the gym
July 25, 2021

I spoke to four Nigerian women about what visiting the gym as a woman is like. Here’s what they had to say: Bibi, 22 I always have a pleasant experience at the gym but there was this day, my friends and I were on the mat and the instructor was helping us stretch our bodies. It […]

July 23, 2021

Romantic relationships bring different changes to our lives. Some welcome, some not. In this article, five Nigerian women talk about how their partners changed their lives.  Bisola, 23 I grew up in a conservative space but I always knew I wanted to explore certain things and with the help of my current partner, I am […]

black girl using her phone
July 22, 2021

There is a growing number of dating apps available to Nigerians living in Nigeria. In this article, three Nigerian women talk about using dating apps.  Dami, 27 I downloaded Bumble a few months ago. This is my first time using a dating app. I chose Bumble because my friend told me that the app is […]

July 22, 2021

Everyone has a story about their first time. In this article, eight Nigerian women talk about the first time they had penetrative sex. Nancy, 22 I didn’t bleed during my first time, probably because my boyfriend in secondary school used to finger me when we made out.  The first time a penis tried to go […]

what she said design with a woman in a hospital gown sitting down
July 21, 2021

The subject of today’s What She Said is a 23-year-old woman who had an ovarian drilling surgery. She talks about PCOS and how it affected her mental and physical health, how unhelpful the doctor who diagnosed her was, and needing an ovarian drilling.  Tell me something about your childhood. Okay, let’s talk about my first […]

Nigerian women celebrating Ileya.
July 20, 2021

Ileya, also called Eid-el Kabir or ram Sallah is a great time to connect with family and friends over juicy pieces of fried ram. As with other things, women have a specific experience of Ileya that is often missing from the conversation. In this article, eight Nigerian women talk about celebrating Ileya.  Farida, 26  I’ve […]

black girl sitting down and smiling
July 17, 2021

I was shocked to find out that after you turn 25, your body experiences a set of changes. They call it second puberty. Like the first one, it’s different for everyone. The changes could come at 30+ or there would be no changes at all. In my experience and that of those around me, here’s […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

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.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

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