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. Popular use of the word abortion implies a deliberate pregnancy termination and some prefer the word miscarriage to refer to spontaneous foetal loss before viability. This definition implies a legal perception of the age at which a foetus can survive out of the womb. An estimated 44 million abortions are performed globally each year, with slightly under half of those performed unsafely (Sedghet al., 2012).
As a prelude to other parts of this study, this chapter will discuss the background upon which this study was initiated, the statement of problems that led to this study, the Aim and Objectives of the study. Others are Significance of the study, Scope of work, Research hypothesis and questions, Limitations of the Study and Definition of technical terms.
1.2 Background of Study
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 (Wikipedia, 2021). 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.
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 realizing she is pregnant due to obvious signs of pregnancy (nausea, insomnia, etc).
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.
Therefore, in Benin Metropolis where the research was carried out, the activities that was conducted is to analyze the Increase Mortality Rate as a Result of Abortion among Young Women.
1.3 Statement of Problems
Investigation revealed that the Despite the fact that a large number of women die every day all over the world as a result of abortion, the practise is still increasing. It is a worrisome problem worldwide and the rate at which it is procured is alarming. Families have experienced the trauma of losing a child; marriages have been broken because some young girls have become barren before marriage, all as a result of too many abortions. When death from abortion occurs, the argument on who is responsible is endless.
Therefore, it is pertinent to reflect on the abortion problem and find out what it is that makes young girls who are still at puberty stage procure abortion. So far, very little has been done on reasons responsible for adolescents' procurement of abortion and the increase in mortality rate. This leaves a gap in Nigerian health education literature and hence the study.
1.4 Aim and Objectives of Study
The aim of the study is to analyze reasons responsible for increase in abortion and mortality rates among young women in Benin Metropolis. In achieving this aim, the following specific objectives were laid out as follows:
- To find out how mortality rates can be reduced in abortion related cases among young girls in Benin Metropolis;
- To examine the contribution of government towards the increment of abortion related cases;
- To assess the level of mortality rates in abortion related cases among young girls in Benin Metropolis;
- To determine whether the legalization of abortion will reduce maternal mortality rates; and
- To ascertain the approaches that can be used in counselling abortion victims in Benin Metropolis.
1.5 Research Questions
The study came up with research questions so as to be able to ascertain the above stated objectives. The specific research questions for the study are stated below as follows:
- If abortion is legalized, will it reduce maternal mortality rates?
- Is government contributing to increase in abortion related cases?
- Is there an increase mortality rates in abortion related cases among young girls in Benin Metropolis?
- Which approaches can be used in counselling abortion victims?
- How can mortality rates be reduced in abortion related cases among young girls in Benin Metropolis?
1.6 Research Hypothesis
In order to pursue the objective of this study, the following generalized statements have been designed to guide and aids in obtaining the result for the experiment to be conducted. For this work, the null hypothesis will be represented with H0 while the alternative hypothesis will be represented with hypothesis H1.
- H0: There is no increased level of mortality rates in abortion related cases among young girls in Benin Metropolis
- H1: There is an increased level of mortality rates in abortion related cases among young girls in Benin Metropolis
1.7 Significance of Study
The findings of this study may help create public awareness on the dangers of abortion and help in educating young girls on the “do's and don'ts” of abortion related issues. This study is geared towards making necessary recommendations on alternative solutions to abortion.
The findings of the study may go a long way in discouraging young girls from procuring abortion and helping the government in solving the problem. This study would also form a basis for further research work in abortion and related problems in Nigeria.
1.8 Scope of Study
The scope of the research is focused on the Analysis of the Increase in Mortality Rate as a Result of Abortion among Young Women in Benin Metropolis The study is hinged on educating young girls in Benin metropolis about the dangers and complications of abortion as well as to reduce mortality rate among young girls on related issues.
1.9 Limitations of the Study
During the course of this study, many things militated against its completion, some of which are:
- Time Constraint: The time frame given to accomplish this project was very short due to school academic calendar and it was carried out under pressure which made the researcher not to implement some necessary features.
- Establishment Policies: Establishment policies posed a serious limitation as most staffs are not ready to release information needed for this project work. There were lots of information needed from the staffs of this establishment to enhance the study which took them time to release or they did not release at all for security purposes, hence the scope was reduced.
- Research material: availability of research material is a major setback to the scope of the study.
- Frequent power failure: This made the researcher append more money on fuel to ensure sustainable power.
- 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).
1.10 Definition of terms
Abortionist: A person who carries out abortion on pregnant women in order to get money
Insomnia: Lack of sleep due to worry on how to proffer solutions on unwanted pregnancies