Nigeria: Lagos Suspends New Safe Abortion Guidelines

Nigeria: Lagos Suspends New Safe Abortion Guidelines (News Central TV)

The health ministry has declared that Lagos state in Nigeria has suspended new regulations for safe abortion to allow for additional consultations.

The guidelines, which took four years to design, were created to help medical professionals perform safe and legal abortions within the bounds of the law.

However, religious authorities claimed they weren’t contacted.

Early this week, the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos was quoted as stating that the guidelines will legalize abortion by stealth.

According to a statement release by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu stated on Thursday that additional public and stakeholder education was required to ensure a better grasp of the rules.

Legally, therapeutic abortion is permitted in Lagos. In cases where the mother’s life is in danger or the baby’ chances of survival are deemed slim, medical professionals may choose to terminate the pregnancy.

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The statement reads; “Among the several factors that contribute to maternal mortality, illegal abortions and high-risk pregnancies leading to unresolvable complications rank high.

“The Lagos State Ministry of Health is seeking different methods to eliminate illegal abortions and ensure that a mother does not die at childbirth, thereby disrupting an entire family unit.

“In this regard, it became imperative to examine, in keeping with existing National and State laws and policies, if there are indeed justifications and medical reasons to offer abortion to a woman whose life is threatened by a pregnancy.

“Following this, the guideline was developed over four years through painstaking work by experts in Law and in Obstetrics and Gynaecology with a focus on creating the opportunity to reduce maternal mortality and in line with existing laws.

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“These guidelines have generated immense public interest which has necessitated escalating it to Mr Governor, who has advised further sensitisation of the public and key stakeholders to ensure a clearer understanding of the objectives of the guidelines.

“To this end, we are suspending the implementation of these guidelines in the meantime for the Executive Council to deliberate on this matter and ensure adequate public sensitisation and stakeholder engagement to reach a consensus required for successful guideline development.

“The Lagos State Ministry of Health remains committed to planning, devising, and implementing policies that promote qualitative, affordable, and equitable healthcare services to the citizenry.”

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