A national study conducted by Guttmacher Institute, New York and University of Ibadan has shown that about 1.25 million abortions were performed within 12 months of 2012 compared with 610, 000 in 1996
The study report titled: “The Incidence of Abortion in Nigeria” estimated abortion rate between 1996 and 2012 was pegged at 33 abortions of every 1, 000 women aged between 15 and 49.
Guttmacherý Director of International Research, Dr. Akinrinola Bankole, said at the weekend in Abuja that the research method adopted, Abortion Incidence Complication Methodology, was an indirect technique of estimating abortion through complications treated in health facilities.
He attributed the surge during the study launch to population increase.
According to him, unwanted pregnancies had been major cause of most abortions, stressing that despite high restriction, abortion remains common in the country.
“These findings make clear not only that abortion is common in Nigeria but that unsafe services are putting women’s health and lives at risk.
“Nigerian women need access to high-quality family planning services to reduce rates of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortions that follow often,” Bankole said.
The study showed low acceptance of contraceptives and rated the North-East and South-South regions with the highest abortion rate respectively.
“Rates of abortion vary within Nigeria. The study found states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe linked to particularly high levels of contraceptive nonuse, as more than 96 per cent of women in the regions do not use a contraceptive method and thus face a high risk for unintended pregnancy.”
A lecturer from Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Ibadan, Dr. Olutosin Awolude, said based on the research about 40 per cent of women who had abortions experienced serious complications, among other problems.
Asked why the research took time before being publicised, Awolude said the research process took a lot of time and there was need to crosscheck the results.