Perception of Abortion and Abortion Laws by Lawyers in Anambra State Nigeria


Abortion is the knowing destruction of the life of an unborn child in the womb other than for the principal purpose of producing a life birth or removal of a dead tissue. The Nigeria law stipulates that abortion is allowed only where there is risk to the life of the woman and or to her physical or mental health. This study is aimed at determining the perception of abortion and the relevant laws by lawyers in Anambra State, Nigeria. It is a descriptive cross sectional study carried out between May-June 2010 using pre-tested self administered questionnaires to collect data from consenting 200 lawyers in the 3 major towns of Anambra State. All the respondents knew about abortion, recognized health hazards associated with it and mentioned infertility as the major complication of abortion (53%) followed by death (52.5%) and bleeding (42.5%). About 80% of respondents said abortion should be allowed in cases of danger to woman’s life, rape or incest. Eighty-five percent of the lawyers were aware of the existing abortion law in Nigeria and 76.5% of this knew abortion was legal only to save the life of the woman. Only 26% were in support of legalization of abortion. The Lawyers recommended health education and family planning, among others as means of preventing abortion and its complications. Stigma associated with abortion should be removed to improve free reporting of abortion cases for legal actions. Further research should involve other stakeholders on abortion to make for a holistic approach to the problem.

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Ubajaka, C. , Adogu, P. , Ilika, C. and Ilika, A. (2014) Perception of Abortion and Abortion Laws by Lawyers in Anambra State Nigeria. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 5, 695-703. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2014.512095.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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