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Liberalization of abortion and reduction of abortion related morbidity and mortality in Nigeria


Patrick I. Okonta, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Clinical Medicine, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria. E-mail:


This study aimed at determining the knowledge and perception of physicians in Nigeria on abortion related deaths, and also to find out if they will support the liberalization of abortion as a means of reducing deaths from unsafe abortion. Physicians' willingness to offer abortion services was also explored. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to a convenience sample of physicians in Delta state of Nigeria. Physicians were equally divided on whether legal liberalization of abortion would significantly reduce maternal mortality in Nigeria. Only 13.4% of the doctors were willing to offer abortion services if legally liberalized. The majority of the doctors considered promoting abstinence from pre-marital sex and contraceptive use as best effective strategies for reducing abortion-related deaths. However, liberalization of abortion law in Nigeria was not considered a very effective strategy.