1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
is the ending of pregnancy by removing a fetus or embryo before it can survive
outside the uterus. An abortion which occurs spontaneously is also known as a
miscarriage. An abortion may be caused purposely and is then called an induced
abortion, or less frequently, "induced miscarriage". The word
abortion is often used to mean only induced abortions. When allowed by local
law, induced abortion in the developed world is one of the safest procedures in
medicine. Modern methods use medication or surgery for abortions (Fagbemi,
ancient times, induced abortions have been done using herbal medicines, sharp
tools, with force, or through other traditional methods. Abortion laws and
cultural or religious views of abortions are different around the world. In
some areas induced abortion is legal only in specific cases such as rape,
problems with the fetus, poverty, risk to a woman's health, or incest. In many
places there is much debate over the moral, ethical, and legal issues of
abortion. Those who oppose abortion often maintain that an embryo or fetus is a
human with a right to life and may compare abortion to murder. Those who favor
the legality of abortion often hold that a woman has a right to make decisions
about her own body (George, 2004).
205 million pregnancies occur each year worldwide. Over a third are unintended
and about a fifth end in induced abortion. Most abortions result from
unintended pregnancies. A pregnancy can be intentionally aborted in several
ways. The manner selected often depends upon the gestational age of the embryo
or fetus, which increases in size as the pregnancy progresses. Specific
procedures may also be selected due to legality, regional availability, and
doctor or a women's personal preference.
for procuring induced abortions are typically characterized as either therapeutic
or elective. An abortion is medically referred to as a therapeutic abortion
when it is performed to save the life of the pregnant woman; prevent harm to
the woman's physical or mental health; terminate a pregnancy where indications
are that the child will have a significantly increased chance of premature
morbidity or mortality or be otherwise disabled; or to selectively reduce the
number of fetuses to lessen health risks associated with multiple pregnancy. An
abortion is referred to as an elective or voluntary abortion when it is
performed at the request of the woman for non-medical reasons (Adepoju, 1999).
issue of abortion has attracted substantial attention in recent times in
Nigeria and everywhere in the world; abortion has therefore become a global
issue (Alimson, 2001). The major concern in most of the discussions on abortion
and related situation draws heavily from the fact that abortion constitutes
severe danger to a woman’s health, but at the same time when performed by
medical specialist (i.e. abortion specialists) abortions are safe for the
woman, and relatively simple.
other factors (economic social, educational, and family size) have equally
become prominent in respect to induced abortion or pregnancy termination. Both
male and female students are supposed to be sexually responsible since a lot of
student’s in today’s society are already sexually active, but females always
carry the bulk of the responsibility as they are the ones who would be greatly
affected by any mistake (Alimson, 2001). For instance, a female student who
forget to take necessary pregnancy precautions and therefore gets pregnant may
resort to an abortion for the following reasons.
To complete her education,
To avoid becoming a mother
prematurely, as well as the responsibility attached to it,
To avoid being negatively labeled by
the society has been “loose”
Fear of having a child out of wedlock.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
a study that was carried out on the category of people that indulge in
abortion, the result will definitely prove that it is adolescents and youths.
The minority will be older people (especially those who have passed the age of
child bearing). Several causes have been identified as inducing abortion other
than medical. The phenomenon in most countries is frowned at. In Nigeria for
example the abortion Act of 1967 as amended in 1982 states the following;
If the continuance of the pregnancy
would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman greater than if the
pregnancy was terminated, the pregnancy should be terminated.
If the termination is necessary to
prevent grave permanent impurity to the physical or mental health of the
pregnant woman, it should be terminated.
If the pregnancy has not exceeded its
24th week and the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk greater than
if the pregnancy were terminated of injury to the physical of mental health of
the existing children of the family of the pregnant woman, it should be
If there is substantial risk that if
the child were born it would suffer from much physical or mental abnormality as
to be serious by handicapped, the pregnancy should be terminated (George,
above Act therefore permits under certain conditions, the abortion of a
pregnancy. Most women with the following conditions are to involve in abortion
carried out legally by medical experts.
of the social stigma of having unwanted pregnancies, many young girls who
become pregnant seek abortion as the only way to end unwanted pregnancies. This
however, has serious health risks, which sometime leads to death of young
girls. For instance, unsafe abortion results in various complications such as
haemorrhage, perforation of the uterus, secondary infertility and even death.
It is also obvious that unsafe abortion has a devastating health impact as
measured by deaths, illnesses, injuries and the cases of emergency care
(Expanding Access to safe Abortion, 1993). Beside the risks of unsafe abortion,
there are serious health risks involved child bearing as an adolescent or
teenager. For instance, teenagers face greater risk of pelvic bone immaturity,
prolonged labour and other wise difficult birth.
fear of been sent out of School or dropping out of school because of unwanted
pregnancy makes undergraduate students involve in abortion and in order to
abort the baby, they go to quack doctors because it is cheap or they take
concoctions and this either kills them or destroys their womb. Money in this
case is also a problem.
(2004) has clearly observed that about 72.5% of those involved in abortion are
female students, 17.5% are unmarried women, while abort 4.3% are housewives. It
is this rate that has become a problem. Therefore, this study seeks to examine
the determinant of induced abortion among undergraduate students in Nigeria, by
looking at the reason why students involve in abortion.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
following are the objectives of this study:
To examine the determinant of induced
abortion among undergraduate students in Nigeria.
To examine the negative consequences
or disadvantages of induced abortion by undergraduate students.
To identify the best possible ways to
prevent or reduce the negative effect caused by induced abortion among
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
What are the determinants of induced
abortion among undergraduate students in Nigeria?
What are the negative consequences or
disadvantages of induced abortion by undergraduate students?
What are the best possible ways to
prevent or reduce the negative effect caused by induced abortion among
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
There is no significant negative effect of induced abortion
is a significant negative effect of induced abortion
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
following are the significance of this study:
The outcome of this study will be
beneficial to all categories of women, female students and the society at
large. This is because the understanding of the causes of abortion will enable
society, university authorities and policy makers look for means to address and
reduce the menace.
The results from this study will help
individuals identify the negative effect or disadvantage associated with the
involvement of abortion and how it affects the society at large.
This research will be a contribution
to the body of literature in the area of the effect of personality trait on
student’s academic performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature
for future research in the subject area.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
study will cover the causes and the consequences of induced abortion among
student undergraduates in Nigeria.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the
researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information
and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will
simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently
will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
A. S. (1999). Reducing the incidence of abortion through behavioural and social
change. A paper presented at a
national workshop on youths and reproductive health behaviour.
A. (2001). Perceptions of sexual behaviours and knowledge about pregnancy
termination among adolescents in selected states in Nigeria. Family Planning
and Reproductive health, 25 (4).
Britannica Online (2007). www.britannica.com
S. M. (2001). Abortion incidence and prevalence: community Heath Review;
C. (2004). Legal issue of abortion and empirical evidence available. The
week International. September 17.