Abortion Incidence and Safety in Nigeria: Findings From a Population-Based Survey

Suzanne Bell , Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Elizabeth F. Omoluabi, Centre for Research Evaluation Resources and Development (CRERD)
Funmilola OlaOlorun, University of Ibadan
Mridula Shankar, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Caroline Moreau, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM)

In Nigeria, recent estimates indicate there were approximately 33 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 49 in 2012. However, information on the details surrounding abortion are largely unknown. The objective of this study is to estimate one-year incidences of induced abortion overall and by women’s characteristics using direct and indirect methodologies, and to assess abortion safety. A total of 11,106 women of reproductive age completed the nationally representative survey. Overall, the one-year abortion incidence for respondents was 41.8 per 1,000 women while the confidante incidence was 59.4. The majority of abortions were unsafe for respondents (56.3%) and confidantes (61.0%). Among both groups, the women most likely to have the least safe abortions were the youngest, women with no education, and women residing in rural area. Evidence from this study confirms that abortion in Nigeria is not only a public health concern, but an issue of social inequity.

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 Presented in Session 1. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, & Reproductive Health 1