Women’s Experiences in Obtaining and Using Medical Abortion Pills From Drug Sellers in Lagos, Nigeria

Melissa Stillman , Guttmacher Institute
Onikepe Owolabi, Guttmacher Institute
Olalekan Olagunju
Ann M. Moore, Guttmacher Institute
Amanda Berry, Guttmacher Institute
Akinrinola Bankole, Guttmacher Institute
Akanni I. Akinyemi, Harvard School of Public Health
Adesegun O. Fatusi, Obafemi Awolowo University
Erinfolami Temitope, Obafemi Awolowo University

Self-management of medication abortion (MA) is expected to be relatively safe and effective if used according to standard regimens and if adequate information and access to health services is provided. However, in countries like Nigeria with restrictive abortion laws, little is known about women’s experiences obtaining and using MA, and their subsequent outcomes. This paper uses data from a prospective cohort study of women purchasing MA from drug-sellers in Lagos State, Nigeria. 501 women were recruited at the time of purchase and interviewed three times over the course of a month. We successfully completed interviews with 88% of eligible women, 95% of whom reported complete abortions. We examine the characteristics of women using MA, particularly misoprostol, women’s decision making, the quality of information received from drug sellers, access and utilization of social support during the abortion process and self-reported completeness of pregnancy termination.

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 Presented in Session 10. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior & Reproductive Health 2