Therefore, the entire human society has their own views to this subject, from the educated, sophisticated class to those the less educated and illiterates! Abortion is criminal, oh yes! No! it’s a matter of choice these are various issues expressed .These biases, I believe, have crept in unawares into our various legislative quarters where societal decisions are made, but the question remains, is it a matter of moral justification or one of fundamental human right of the woman who chooses to procure an abortion for what ever her reason might be?
The practice of abortion is by no means a new phenomenon in the Nigerian society. Although, at large the entire society is still very aversive to this concept stemming from the fact that the Nigerian society have the utmost respect for human life and they, thus, see every conception as a gift from God and ought to be preserved. This view has invariably influenced individual, community, and governmental policies to the issue of abortion.
In fact, it is still a taboo to be heard trying to procure an abortion in Nigeria. The stigmatization is enormous and consequently, it is hardly discussed in homes and schools until more recently when many Non-governmental organizations came to the lime light to educate the adolescents and the society as to the adverse consequences of unsafe abortion carried out by incompetent hands. It was at this period, I guess, that the society now woke up from her slumber to the reality on ground.
For instance, (sarcastically), each year an estimated 610,000 abortions, at a rate of 25 abortions per 1,000 women age between 15-44 are obtained in Nigeria (5). In addition, an estimated 40% of abortion are performed by physicians in established health institutions while the rest are performed by non-physician providers, for example, auxiliary nurses, traditional birth attendants. Of all hospitals and clinics that provide abortion, 87% are privately owned, and abortion are provided by non-specialist general practitioners(5)
So, quite frankly, abortion take place in this great country, arguably, the giant of Africa in large number both under safe and unsafe condition! Most of the privately owned clinics are the worst culprit, since they are out to maximize profit at the expense of patient’s life and many of those general practitioners are not too skilled in the techniques of the procedure and many even use unsterilised instruments, thus, multiplying the effect of complications!
Since, the Nigerian society still stigmatizes this issue and paints it as criminal, then the women mostly adolescents who are involved will most probably go ahead to terminate those unwanted pregnancies irrespective of the skills of the health care provider, whether under a sterile condition or not. Thus, with the alarming rate of complications from induced abortion, for instance, estimated 1,000 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in Nigeria are attributed to abortion(6). Also, the incidence of pelvic infections which results in infertility are common(7).
Consequently, all these issues put together leave one with a very important question, rhetoric although, that should we continue with culturally-rooted belief systems which has left grave health complication due to induced abortion or should not we rather be flexible and accommodate changes in our life styles which is precipitated by changing societal values, for instance, westernization and Americanization of traditional African values, which had invariably heighten our appetite for exotic and x-rated films, sex and consequently unwanted pregnancies?!
My view is this: society should put great value on life but more so, on the lives of those that we could see, feel, and seek to protect them at all cost even if the hard decision will have to be taken than allow our precious youngsters fall a victim of quacks who will destroy their fertility while trying to terminate the ï¿½ï¿½substanceï¿½ï¿½ that they carry on the inside of them!
2 . The holy Bible, Genesis 1:11
3. The holy Bible, Genesis 1:28
4. George W. Bush, 2002- AUG 4. this was part of his congratulations to congress for having passed the Born-Alive infant protection Act.