Written by Ijeoma UKAZU

My husband doesn’t like condoms, prefers abortion, housewife reveals

"I have done like five abortions. My husband doesn't like using condoms. He says it is not pleasurable and I don't like all these family planning method because of the ugly stories I have heard. I am scared of side effects," said Mrs Chioma Ugbochi, 38, housewife, resident in Magodo area Lagos state.

"Abortion for me is better than family planning. Each time I find out I am pregnant, I have what I mix to flush it out. It's easier for me," Ugbochi said.

Another Lagos resident, Mrs Bukola Adeyemi said, "I procure abortion almost every month and my husband is not willing to allow me go for family planning.

"I am blessed with two children. I and my husband quarrel all the time because I don't want to get pregnant again. He prefers I do abortion than use any family planning method. I would really love to have a family planning method done. I don't like having abortions," Mrs. Adeyemi revealed.

For Chioma and Bukola, myths and misconceptions about family planning and lack of spousal support are reasons why they procure abortion as they are just two out of the 610,000 abortions estimated to have occurred in Nigeria every year.

However, 50 percent of the women who has attained reproductive age that will die from procuring abortion are young people or adolescents.

In Nigeria unsafe abortion contributes 13 percent to all pregnancy related deaths making the country one the highest maternal mortalities in the world with 1500 woman per 100,000 births.

According to the Guttmacher Institute an estimated 1.25 million induced abortions occurred in Nigeria in 2012, equivalent to a rate of 33 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 49.

The estimated unintended pregnancy rate was 59 per 1,000 women in their reproductive age. Available data showed that 56 percent of unintended pregnancies were resolved by abortion.

During an interview at a two-day media training of Population Reference Bureau, PRB, Safe Engage Training Workshop, Professor Adetokunbo Fabamwo, a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, said, "in Africa, nearly half of all abortions happen in the least safe circumstances. 60 percent abortions are carried out by non-physicians; nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, midwives and quacks."

Giving reasons why most women engage in abortion, Fabamwo said are; unstable relationship, wrong partner, family planning services out of reach, failure of contraceptive method, rape and incest amongst others.

He said abortion should not be a form of family planning as it is safer to have a contraception than procuring abortion, adding that most of these abortions were clandestine and many were unsafe.

Unsafe abortion, he said is a major contributor to Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate, which remains one of the highest in the world, he added.

Fabamwo, who is also the Chief Medical Director, LASUTH, said that for now, medical abortion is legal under the Lagos State Criminal Code if having the child will put the mother’s life and her physical health in danger.

According to him, under the code, "a medical doctor is not criminally responsible for performing in good faith, with reasonable care and skill a surgical operation on any person for his benefit, or on an unborn child for the preservation of the mother’s life and physical health, if the performance of the operation is reasonable, given the circumstances of the case."

The CMD further said that elective abortions were not usually done until the Ministry of Health’s circular of April 2019, adding, "now, for legally indicated cases, options of medical and surgical abortions are now available in the state."

He however stated clearly that, for a woman to keep procuring abortion, there are dire consequences, "if a pregnancy is beyond nine weeks, you don't qualify for medical abortion but still qualify for other methods of abortion which can be manual vacuum aspiration, dilatation amongst others."

He added that World Health Organization, WHO, estimates complications of unsafe abortions at 10 to 50 percent of women undergoing abortions in developing countries need subsequent medical care.

These complications includes; haematometra, sepsis, injury to structures like cervical laceration, uterine perforation, bowel injury and bladder injury.

The CMD however, urged the media to educate women through their reportage of the dangers of reoccurring abortions as taking mitoprostol and mifepristone is dangerous to health, adding that family planning methods is still the safest way to prevent unintended pregnancies.

 

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