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J Obstet Gynaecol. 2011 Nov;31(8):763-6. doi: 10.3109/01443615.2011.593645.

Knowledge and perception of the Nigerian Abortion Law by abortion seekers in south-eastern Nigeria.

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South-east Nigeria Post Abortion Care Network, Ipas Nigeria.


One in four pregnancies worldwide is voluntarily terminated. Approximately 20 million terminations are performed under unsafe conditions, mostly in developing countries with restrictive abortion laws. A total of 100 consecutive abortion-seekers were interviewed, to ascertain their knowledge and perceptions on the Nigerian Abortion Law. The majority (55.0%) of the respondents were students. Most of them (97%) had at least secondary education and the majority (62.0%) were within the 20-24 years age range. Only 31.0% of the women interviewed were aware of the Nigerian Abortion Law. While 16% perceived the law as being restrictive, 2% opined that' it was alright'; 1% perceived it as very restrictive and 12% had no opinion on the abortion law. Knowledge of the abortion law had no significant relationship with either the educational level of the respondent or the number of previous pregnancy terminations and overall demand for abortion services. It is necessary to ensure a wide dissemination of the abortion law and its provisions to the Nigerian public, in order to arm them with the necessary information to participate actively in debates on abortion law reforms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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