Abortion Seeking Behavior among Nigerian Women

Akinrinola Bankole, Alan Guttmacher Institute
Boniface Oye-Adeniran, Campaign Against Unwanted Pregnancy (CAUP)
Rubina Hussain, Alan Guttmacher Institute
Gilda Sedgh, Harvard University

Abortion is illegal in Nigeria, but the behavior is not uncommon among women. It is estimated that about 610,000 abortions occur annually. Unfortunately, most of these abortions occur under unsafe conditions and constitute a major source of maternal morbidity and mortality. Given that abortion is illegal in Nigeria, it is of policy and program relevance to know how women seek to stop an unwanted pregnancy in this context. To explore this new area, a sample survey of 3,200 women aged 15-49 was conducted in late 2002 to mid 2003 in 8 states across the nation, covering the 4 health zones. Using data from this new survey, this paper examines the steps that women take and the things that they do in order to obtain abortion in Nigeria. The findings will highlight important differences in abortion seeking behavior among different sub-groups and offer new information for policy and program interventions.

  See paper

Presented in Session 164: Abortion II