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150 Women Groups Seek Reinstatement of Guidelines on Safe Abortion in Lagos



150 Women Groups Seek Reinstatement of Guidelines on Safe Abortion in Lagos.




No fewer than 150 Women groups and Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria have called on the Lagos State Government to reinstate the suspended Guidelines on Safe Termination of Pregnancies for Legal Indications.


The group lead by Human rights lawyer and board member, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WADC), Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi made the call on Monday at a webinar on Safe termination of pregnancy for incest, rape and other diseases launch of signature campaign.


She said that unsafe abortion is a major cause of maternal deaths in Nigeria, accounting for 10% of the global maternal death rate and ranking as the second leading cause of maternal mortality in the country.



The groups are concerned about the neglect of this preventable issue due to Nigeria’s abortion laws, which have not been reformed to align with international commitments on women’s reproductive rights.



According to data from 2017, 212,000 women out of an estimated 2 million annually who had abortions sought treatment for complications, while 285,000 did not receive the necessary care for the severe health consequences they faced.


In same vein, Dr. Kehinde Ounade, the general secretary and project coordinator for Society of Gyneacology and Obstetrics of Nigeria emphasised the need for the state government to reinstate the guidelines.


The groups praised the Lagos State Government for taking steps to address the issue by presenting and launching the policy document titled ‘Lagos State Guidelines on Safe Termination of Pregnancy for Legal Indications’ on June 29, 2022.


The 40-page document provides guidelines to standardise and build capacity for medical professionals, with the aim of saving the lives of pregnant women when continuation of the pregnancy poses a danger to their lives and physical health.



The suspension of Lagos State’s Guidelines on Safe Termination of Pregnancy for Legal Indications has raised concerns among health and human rights advocates.


The guidelines, developed over four years by legal and medical experts, aim to reduce maternal mortality by acknowledging legal indications for safe abortion care, including rape survivors.


The groups explained that denying safe abortion care not only violates the right to health and privacy but may also infringe upon the prohibition of ill-treatment.


Meanwhile, the launch of the signature (The Pink Movement) to raise awareness on the avoidable deaths of pregnant women and victims of rape and incest in Nigeria was launched at the webinar.


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