Induced abortion amongst undergradute students of University of Port Harcourt

Niger J Med. 2009 Apr-Jun;18(2):199-202.


Background: Induced abortion is the termination of pregnancy through a deliberate intervention intended to end the pregnancy. This practice is widespread in Nigeria despite the restrictive abortion laws in Nigeria. Many women still undergo induced abortion every year and endanger their health and lives as induced abortion can only be procured illegally in Nigeria. We hope to determine the proportion of undergraduate students who had induced abortion in the past and the contributing factors. To determine the proportion of the undergraduate students who support the restrictive abortion laws in Nigeria.

Method: A cross sectional questionnaire survey of undergraduate students of the University of Port Harcourt was done through a cluster sampling method along with focus group discussion with some of the respondents. 451 out of 500 administered questionnaires were retrieved and analyzed.

Result: The incidence of induced abortion amongst the respondents was 47.2%. About 40% had never used an effective form of contraception in the past and 13% were unaware of contraception. 77.9% of the induced abortion was by dilation and curettage and 1% by manual vacuum aspiration. Up to two third of the respondents were against legalization of abortion.

Conclusion: Up to 47% of these undergraduates had performed abortion in the past. Protecting educational career was the single most important reason for this. Although most of these undergraduates are against legalizing abortion, they highly patronize unsafe abortion. Improving contraceptive awareness and usage will reduce unwanted pregnancy and induced abortion. This option appears next to total abstinence in reducing the morbidity and mortality from induced abortion in this country.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / adverse effects
  • Abortion, Induced / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nigeria
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult