When 21-year-old Faith discovered she was pregnant, she stole a few thousand naira ($40 USD) from her mother to pay for a back-street abortion. With a daily income of barely 300 naira ($2.50 USD), Faith says she wasn’t financially or emotionally prepared to have a baby. So, without access to services or support, she sought out an illegal abortion from a village quack.
“They put iron inside me,” Faith said. “It [hurt] a lot. I was vomiting and felt sad.” Despite her experience, however, Faith feels lucky to be alive.
Unsafe abortion is one of the most significant and preventable causes of maternal death and injury in Nigeria. Abortion is illegal except to save the life of the woman, and procedures are often inaccessible even for women who meet these requirements, forcing women to seek out clandestine procedures.
Based in Abuja, Ipas Nigeria works to increase women’s access to vital reproductive health care, providing postabortion care and family planning, and strengthening alliances and partnerships in support of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.