NRHJN Celebrates International Safe Abortion Day in Lagos

September 28 every year is the “International Safe Abortion Day and the Network of Reproductive Health Journalists, Nigeria, ( NRHJN) has joined other women groups in Lagos at a physical and online event organised by Dr. Abiola Akioyode-Afolabi-led Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, ( WARDC) to commemorate the day with the theme “Abortion in Uncertain Times- Reflection on Safe Termination of Pregnancy, Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights, Harmful Traditional Practices and Violence against women and girls”.

Advocacy was on the need for abortion not to be regulated within the context of criminal and penal laws in Nigeria as the nation, battles to reduce the burden of 10℅ deaths it contributes to global maternal mortality rate.

Also, women were encouraged to have total control of their bodies as safe access is created for women and girls on safe abortion.

It was advocated that anyone undergoing safe abortion should have access to pre-procedure care and post-procedure care to ensure any complications before, during and after are being addressed through adequate medical care.

Lagos State Ministry of Health was asked to regularly monitor and evaluate healthcare facilities offering services so that pregnant women and adolescent can be adequately cared for during the procedures.

Currently, pregnancy that can threaten the physical and mental health of a woman is permitted to be terminated through safe abortion.

Lagos State Government had on June 29, 2022 launched the State’s Guidelines on Safe Termination of Pregnancy to build the capacity of medical practitioners on how to implement safe abortion to save a woman’s life for her physical health and reduce maternal mortality in Lagos.

However, there has been a ban on it’s implementation almost as soon as it was birthed.

Highlight of the day was a petition by the women groups to the Lagos State Government demanding the lift of the ban on the suspension of the Lagos State Guidelines on Safe Termination of Pregnancy for legal indications to meet the target of 2030 Global Sustainable Development Goals on access to Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare services. #safeabortion #SRHR #SpotlightInitiative #unwomen #lagosabortionguidelines

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