An Analysis Of The Increase In Mortality Rate As A Result Of Abortion Among Young Women Of Childbearing Age

Project and Seminar Material for Public Health

An Analysis Of The Increase In Mortality Rate As A Result Of Abortion Among Young Women Of Childbearing Age


Abstract


The Nigeria society is very much concerned about the mortality rate of adolescents due to abortion. Abortion has been the major cause of adolescents death in present times. Today, abortion when performed by experts may not result in adolescents death. The aim of this research was to analyze the increase in mortality rate as a result of abortion among young women of childbearing age in Egor Local Government and the major cause of adolescent mortality. The research tool was a questionnaire designed to collect necessary information from the respondents.

After a careful analysis of the data collected, the researcher concluded that abortion when legally and adequately performed, may not lead to death. It was also discovered that peer influences induce adolescents to engage in abortion. Abortion done by unqualified personnel are the leading cause of adolescents deaths because they use unsterilized and out-dated equipment and it usually done under unhygienic conditions. The study further recommended that the government should provide counselling centres for young mothers, they should also provide the maternal and child health services for teenage mothers.


Table Of Contents


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Certification page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of content

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of Study
  • 1.2 Statement of Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of Study
  • 1.4 Research Question
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Scope of Study
  • 1.7 Limitations of the study
  • 1.8 Organization of Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms

Chapter Two:

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Concept of abortion
  • 2.3 Definition of Unsafe Abortion
  • 2.4 Types of Abortion
  • 2.5 Health Consequences of abortion
  • 2.6 Relationship between Unsafe Abortion and Abortion Law
  • 2.7 Lack of Contraception Access and Use
  • 2.8 Reasons why Adolescents Engage in Abortion
  • 2.9 Consequences of induced abortion
  • 2.10 Ways of preventing abortion among adolescents in Nigeria
  • 2.11 Summary of review of literature

Chapter Three

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Design of Study
  • 3.3 Study area
  • 3.4 Population
  • 3.5 Sample and Sampling Procedure
  • 3.6 Instrumentation
  • 3.7 Validity of Instrument
  • 3.8 Reliability of the Instrument
  • 3.9 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.10 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.11 Ethical consideration

Chapter Four:

Results And Discussion

  • 4.1 Result
  • 4.2 Discussion

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion And Recommendations

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Findings of the study
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

Abortion is a relatively used term. It is the word used to describe the act of termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a foetus or embryo prior to viability. The term “Abortion” most commonly refers to the induced removal of human pregnancy. It could mean a plan or arrangement which takes place in the foetus before it can develop properly.

In Nigeria, as in all parts of the world, women experience unplanned pregnancy. Some of these women seek to terminate their pregnancies by safe medical methods or by other unorthodox methods available. The procurement of abortion is by no means a new phenomenon in Nigeria. The main reason why young girls and women procure abortion is always changing. Increasingly, women procure abortion due to desire to avoid premarital births and to control family size (Aboyeji, 2003).

However, abortion as it is used in this study is the act of terminating or stopping the development of a child in the womb of a woman either by medical operation or self medication.

Abortion, when induced in the developed world in accordance with local laws is among the safest procedures in medicine. Notwithstanding, unsafe abortion occurs in approximately 70,000 maternal death and 5 million cases of disabilities are recorded yearly, globally (www.wikipedia.com). Abortion is an age old practise, it was universally practised but not universally accepted. It was seen as a social evil, one that brought down the curse of the gods. The evil notion that primitive people heard about was so profound that it was believed in some tribes that abortion committed by a married woman could cause the husband to be sterile especially when the husband is not responsible (Olaitan, 2003).

The above reasons did not stop the practise of abortion among primitive people. Women in the olden days would rather have their pregnancy terminated than to have the child to be raised in slavery. Pregnancies involving members of the same family were aborted because it was seen as a taboo. Lactating women who become pregnant had the pregnancies aborted to ensure the flow of milk for the living child. Primitive men used crude, traumatic and often ineffective means to terminate pregnancy which led to the deaths of the victims. Today, abortion continues to be practised whether forbidden or accepted for a variety of social, political, economic and religious reason that are not completely different from those given by primitive men (Boyd, 2006).

Over the years, due to advanced science and technology, man has been able to tackle problems more effectively than primitive men. Modern man has been able to eradicate lots of diseases from the face of the earth and invented easier and faster means of cooking and transportation which is seen as less primitive, why is he still very primitive in the way he solves the problem of unwanted pregnancies? Abortion is seen by many in the world today as immoral and ungodly, an act that calls for a punishment from both God and man. Many others still see abortion as a means of regulating the population and balancing the socio economic needs of the family. For this above reason, abortion has been the centre of many legal, social, political and religious debates in the countries all over the world (Jones, 2004).

Abortion is a life threatening issue, one that has claimed the lives of thousands of young women and girls all over the world, therefore, it is an issue that concerns everyone in the society no matter what your stand is on abortion. Consider a young girl of fourteen who gets pregnant and is desperate for a solution. Since she is unable to face the consequences of pregnancy at this age, she may not even know who is responsible for her pregnancy after realising she is pregnant due to obvious signs of pregnancy (nausea, insomnia, etc). She may decide to procure an abortion either on her own or with the aid of someone in order to cover shame. The image is frightening that a young girl of such a tender age, both physically, psychologically, and emotionally immature finds herself on an operating table where she gives her body and life to the sharp instrument of an abortionist.

On the other hand, this young girl may decide to procure an abortion herself or may find herself in the hands of quacks such as half-baked nurses, medical school dropouts, traditional medicine practitioners and other paramedical quacks which could lead to loss of life or sustenance of severe complications which may affect the womb. In this situation, who is to blame for her death? Is it her teachers, parents, peers, the young girl herself, the abortionist or the society at large? The plight of these young adolescents at this period of life is pitiable because they probably have been exposed to sexual intercourse at a very young age. They also may have indulged in sex without being aware of the consequences of their action which in fact speaks of ignorance and innocence.

Again, these young girls may have been lured into sex by older members of the community seeking pleasure. These individuals may deceive these young girls to engage in premarital sex. In whatever way abortion is performed on these young girls, whoever the abortionist is and whatever reasons these girls have to procure abortion, the fact still remains that these young girls are dying daily in their thousands and nothing has been done to remedy the situation.


1.2 Statement of the problem

Despite the fact that a large number of women die everyday all over the world as a result of abortion, the practice is still increasing. It is a world growing problem and the rate at which is procured earned it the name: The Abortion Epidemic.

Although contraceptive prevalence rates have increased dramatically in some countries in the last three decades, women who resort to unauthorized facilities and/or unskilled providers are still putting their health and lives at risk. This is more so common in developing countries. Among the causes of maternal mortality in developing countries, unsafe abortion accounts for 13% of maternal deaths. Worldwide, it is estimated that around 53 million abortions are performed every year.In 2008, unsafe abortions accounted for an estimated 47,000 maternal deaths, down from 69,000 in 1990. Globally, the unsafe-abortion mortality ratio has declined from 50 in 1990 to 30 in 2008. The overall burden of unsafe abortion mortality continues to be the highest in Africa.

In developing countries, abortions are increasing fast and practical steps to deal with the situation are urgently needed. The wastage of human beings through abortion in the past hundred years by far out-number the wastage of human beings due to all world wars in the same period. The wasted lives in the Nigerian/Biafran Civil War is far less than the wastage of human beings by abortion monthly.

Abortion complication accounts for seventy-two percent of all deaths among young women under the age of nineteen (Okonofua, 2001). Therefore most teenage girls dies as a result of illegal abortion. Despite the high death rate from abortion in Nigeria, many of our young women still procure abortions. Families have experienced the trauma of loosing a child, marriages have been broken, because some young women become barren before marriage as a result of abortion. If the victims of abortion are not the only one who suffer the effects of abortion, then why is the society not getting involved in bringing a solution to the problem of abortion.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

Main Objective

The purpose of this study is to enlighten the Nigerian people especially young women on the dangers and complication of abortion. Also, to bring to the public, case of young women who have paid the price of abortion in terms of physical health and emotional anguish.

The Specific Objective:
  1. To investigate if young women resort to abortion in the event of an unwanted pregnancy.
  2. To examine if abortion if a reason for the increased mortality rate among young women.
  3. To examine the chances of survival of young women who engage in abortion.
  4. To investigate if peer pressure can lead to the increase of abortion among young women in the society.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Do teenagers resort to abortion in the event of an unwanted pregnancy?
  2. Is abortion a reason for the increased mortality rate among adolescents?
  3. Do adolescents who engage in abortion have any chance of survival?
  4. Does peer pressure lead to the increase of abortion among adolescent in the society?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The importance of the study is to create public awareness on the dangers of abortion and make necessary recommendations as to what is the alternative help to abortion.

In consideration of the literature, the primary intention of this study was to measure the influence of induced abortion on the current mental health status of college women. Additionally, this study intended to describe the characteristics of women obtaining abortion.

Also, this study will help in discouraging young women from procuring abortion and would also help the government in solving the problem. Thereby reducing mortality rate.

This study will also serve as a material guide for researchers and academicians that will want to carry out research related to this study.


1.6 Scope of Study

This study was conducted in Egor Local government Area of Edo State. The study was affected by inadequate textbooks and the reluctance of some of the respondents to fill the questionnaire during the exercise.

This study (An analysis of the increase in mortality rate as a result of abortion among young women of childbearing age) in no way attempted to determine the extent of the damaged one already by abortion to the lives of the young women in Egor Local Government Area. It only attempted only to create public awareness on the abortion problem and sought the opinion of the people in order to find a solution.


1.7 Limitations of the study

The following limitations were anticipated in this study:

  1. Since the study was only carried out in only one province, the results may not be generalisable to the whole country. The researcher collected data on his own without research assistants.
  2. Financial constraints were also anticipated in the current study. Although the researcher received assistance from the bursary, it was not possible to carry out the study at national level.
  3. The researcher is a full time employee so time to carry out the study was limited.

1.8 Organization of Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study and so on.
  • Chapter two being the review of the related literature presents the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and other areas concerning the subject matter.
  • Chapter three is a research methodology covers deals on the research design and methods adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Abortion:

Termination of the pregnancy of a woman before it reaches full term.

Abortionsist:

A person who gets money for doing abortion.

Mortality:

Loss of life on a large scale.

Readily:

That which is done quickly and willingly.

Tender Age:

It is used to describe the young and inexperienced child.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion And Recommendations

5.1 Summary

Abortion has been discussed in this study from the point of view of many experts.

The definition and types of abortion has been explained. Reasons, solutions, dangers and complications that result from the termination of an unwanted pregnancy has also been discussed.

The topic abortion as a causative factor to the increase in the mortality rate among young women in Egor Local Government Area, Edo State is one that needs to be further researched into so as to find a solution to the problems of procured abortion among adolescents in Egor Local Government Area.

The researcher aimed at creating awareness on the dangers and complications of abortions, and also to find out the causes of abortion among young teenage girls in Egor Local Government. The researcher’s aimed also at finding an alternative or solution to abortion in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State.

Throughout this study, the researcher came across various views and opinions on abortion in the country. Presently, abortion in Nigeria is illegal, and its is the major cause of death among adolescents. And for this reason, it should not exist in our society except when the health of the woman is in danger but this not the case instead abortion is still practiced.

Many adolescents engage in abortion as a result of shame, poverty, pressure from peers, etc. Many of the dangers and complications that result from abortion, are from those performed by unqualified doctors and nurses.
In this study, 28% of the respondents strongly agreed that criminal abortions are mainly causes of death among adolescents and 62% of the respondents agreed to this issue. That is, abortion done by quacks are the leading cause of death among adolescents.


5.2 Findings of the study

The following were the findings from this study:

  1. Abortion is a way out of unwanted pregnancy.
  2. Abortion is the reason for the increased mortality rate among adolescents.
  3. Adolescents have some chances of survival when abortion is done by experts.
  4. Peer influence leads to the increase rate of abortion among adolescents in the society.

5.3 Conclusion

After a careful analysis of the data collected, the researcher has concluded that abortion when legally and adequately performed, may not lead to death. It was also discovered that peer influences induce adolescents to engage in abortion. It was also observed that majority of the respondents were of the view that abortion leads to increased incidence of death among adolescents.

This means that many of the teenage girls who procure abortion have a little chance of survival.

After peer influence induce adolescents to engage in criminal abortion, since these teenage girls would not be able to afford abortion in hospitals, they take any advice from their friends to terminate the pregnancy without weighing the adverse effect it might have on them.

It was also discovered that abortion done by unqualified personnel are the leading cause of adolescents deaths because they use unsterilized and out-dated equipment and it usually done under unhygienic conditions.

It was concluded that abortion is the causative factor to the increase in the mortality rate among adolescents but if abortion is legalized, this problem can be reduced.


5.4 Recommendations

  1. The government should provide counselling centres for young mothers, they should also provide the maternal and child health services for teenage mothers.
  2. The Nigerian Medical Association should help to solve the abortion problem by devising ways of punishing doctors who go against the ethics of the profession by performing abortion. Doctors should also educate patients especially young women on the dangers and complication of abortion and they should counsel and encourage them to seek alternative solutions.
  3. Secondary schools should include sex and sexual education in their school curriculum.
  4. Religious instruction should be reinforced in homes and schools. Parents should devote more time to their children and should discourage pre-marital sex. Parents should also monitor their children to know where they are, at each time and to know the type of friends they keep.
  5. The mass media should be actively involved in educating the public on the dangers of abortion and should include sex-education in their programmes. They should ban the showing of phonographic films.
  6. The society as a whole should be empathetic with women especially young women who are faced with the problem of unwanted pregnancies, and should help them seek an alternative solution based on love and understanding, instead of rejecting them, because society’s rejection of such young women is one of the reasons why they go for abortion.

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