Worried by increasing wave of abortion in the country, the National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) has called on the federal government to remove all legal restrictions to enable safe services.
President of the council, Mrs. Gloria Shoda, made the call during a one day sensitisation workshop for women on unsafe abortion, organised in collaboration with IPAS as part of activities to mark the 2018 International Women’s Day (IWD) in Abuja.
According to Shoda, if enabling laws were available, deaths and disabilities from abortion would reduce and women’s health would improve.
She said most times, services were expensive and facilities poorly equipped in terms of manpower and materials necessary to handle abortion emergencies.
Shoda attributed the failure to reduce the high rate of death from unsafe abortion in the country to lack of access to safe abortion.
“The president said the scenario had been fuelled by social and economy vices, adding that unsafe abortion accounted for 70,000 annual deaths worldwide, Nigeria inclusive.
“I urged women to embrace the use of contraceptives to reduce the incidences of unwanted pregnancies which often lead to unsafe abortion,” she said.
“We also encourage our young girls to abstain from sex until marriage,” she added.
Earlier, the Country Director of IPAS, Hauwa Shekarau, in a paper titled ” Overview of Women’s Reproductive Health and Right: Focus on Unsafe Abortion”, charged government to make improve access to quality contraceptive service a priority.
She added that the quest to protect the rights of women was impeded by the lack of adequate legislative framework in the country.