Association warns against abortion-related stigma

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ABUJA – Dr Valerie Obot, National President, Medical Women Association of Nigeria, on Friday in Abuja cautioned Nigerians against stigmatising women who undergo abortion for medical reasons.

She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that it was important for government to address the restrictive nature of abortion to reduce the number of maternal deaths from unsafe abortion.

According to her, women need to have sexual and reproductive rights when it comes to keeping a child or not.

“It is worthy to note that a lot of women and girls still patronise quacks when they have a pregnancy that they desire not to keep.

“It has also been discovered that there are a lot of reasons associated with women and girls having unsafe abortions, and we discovered that stigma is a major factor.

“They prefer to visit quack doctors or inexperienced doctors whom they feel can help to hide their shame and save them from societal stigma,” she said.

The national president stressed that the root causes of stigma must be addressed to convince people on the need for re-evaluation.

Obot said it was also important to constantly create awareness on Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights.

She said that political will was needed to ensure full implementation of the country’s laws that seek to protect women.

She also underscored the need for women to take positive steps to limit and space child births as a way of reducing maternal mortality and promoting women’s and family health.

“The low use of contraceptives in the country, poverty and illiteracy have contributed to maternal mortality in the country,’’ she said.

Obot emphasised the need for women to have access to family planning commodities. (NAN)

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