The National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) has appealed to the Federal Government to remove legal restrictions on abortion to ensure safe services.
Mrs Gloria Shoda, President of NCWS, made the call at 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 in Abuja.
Shoda attributed the failure to reduce the high rate of death from unsafe abortion in Nigeria to lack of access to safe abortion. She said that there have been an increasing number of abortion cases throughout the world. The president said the situation had been fuelled by social and economic vices, adding that unsafe abortion accounted for over 70,000 deaths annually worldwide, Nigeria inclusive.
Shoda said that where enabling laws are available, deaths and disabilities from abortion are greatly reduced. She said most times services are expensive and facilities are often poorly equipped in terms of manpower and materials necessary to handle abortion emergencies.
She urged women to embrace the use of contraceptives to reduce the incidences of unwanted pregnancies, which could lead to unsafe abortion.
“We also encourage our young girls to abstain from sex until marriage,” she said.