President of the National Council for Women Societies (NCWS), Mrs Gloria Shoda has appealed to the Federal Government to remove legal restrictions on abortion to ensure safe services.
Mrs Gloria Shoda made the call at a one day sensitisation workshop for women on ‘Unsafe Abortion’ organised in collaboration with IPAS as part of activities to mark the 2018 International Women’s Day in Abuja.
Shoda attributed the failure to reduce the high rate of death from unsafe abortion in Nigeria to lack of access to safe abortion.
She said that there have been an increasing number of abortion cases throughout the world. The president said the situation had been fueled by social and economy vices, adding that unsafe abortion accounted for over 70,000 deaths annually worldwide, Nigeria inclusive.
According to her:
‘In most parts of the world, women don’t have access to safe abortion and this leads to the death of more than 70,000 lives on a yearly basis. And this number is increasing due to the fact that most women do not have access to safe abortion in their respective countries’
Shoda said that where enabling laws are available, deaths and disabilities from abortion are greatly reduced.
She said most times services are expensive and facilities are often poorly equipped in terms of manpower and materials necessary to handle abortion emergencies.
‘There are emergency situations where an abortion will be the only solution to save the life of the victim, but deaths eventually occur as a result of poor facilities in most of the medical centers across the country – They are not just well equipped to handle abortion emergencies and this is due to the law restricting abortion’ she said
She urged women to embrace the use of contraceptives to reduce the incidences of unwanted pregnancies, which could lead to unsafe abortion.
“We also encourage our young girls to abstain from sex until marriage,” she said.