Abortion in Nigeria

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Abortion is Nigeria is still strongly frowned upon, especially by society and religious bodies. There’s still a lot of discussion and advocacy around decriminalizing abortions in Nigeria, so as to reduce the number of women who die from unsafe abortions. Even though abortions are criminalised, post-abortion care is legal and accessible at any private or public health facility.

Is Abortion Legal in Nigeria?

Abortion is only permitted in Nigeria to save the life of a woman. Two separate abortion laws govern the Northern and Southern regions of Nigeria, with the Southern region allowing abortions to preserve both the physical and mental wellbeing of the woman. The Northern region is majority Muslim and is governed by the Penal Code while the Southern region is majority Christian and governed by the Criminal Code.

What Types of Abortion are Available in Nigeria?

Medical methods: Using pills such as Misoprostol (Cytotec, Miso Fem, Vanprazol-200)
Surgical methods: Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) abortion.

What is the abortion rate in Nigeria? How Many Women Have Abortions?

In 2012, An estimated 1.25 million induced abortions occurred in Nigeria in 2012, equivalent to a rate of 33 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–49. The estimated unintended pregnancy rate was 59 per 1,000 women aged 15–49. Fifty-six percent of unintended pregnancies were resolved by abortion.

Abortion with Pills (Medical Abortion) in Nigeria

Are the Abortion Pills (Mifepristone and Misoprostol) Available in Nigeria?

Abortion pills are available in Nigeria, but cannot be purchased without a doctor’s prescription.
Note: Misoprostol is only registered in Nigeria for the treatment of Post-Partum Hemorrhage (PPH).

How Late Into a Pregnancy Can the Abortion Pills Be Used?

Misoprostol can also be safely used for a medical abortion within 13 weeks following proper dosage and use.

Do I Need a Prescription for Mifepristone? Misoprostol?

Misoprostol under the brand name Cytotec can be bought at pharmacies but can only be issued with an accompanying prescription.
Note: Many pharmacists do sell Misoprostol without a prescription, however, they do not often provide proper instructions on eligibility, dosage and usage for a medical abortion.
Please refer to the following page on our website for comprehensive instructions on how to use the pill.

What Brands of Abortion Pill Are Popular in Nigeria?

Misoprostol is available under the brand names Cytotec, Miso-fem and Vanaprazol – 200
Mifepristone is available as a combipack under the brand name Mifepack

How Much Do the Abortion Pills Cost in Nigeria?

The pill usually costs between USD 3.00 – USD 9.00.

Who Can I Contact for More Information on Abortion in Nigeria?

For additional information and support, you visit safe2choose.org or you can get in touch with our trained multilingual female counselors

In-Clinic Abortion in Nigeria

What are the Different Types of in-Clinic Abortion Procedures Available in Nigeria?

Manual Vacuum Aspiration and The Electrical Vacuum Aspiration

Where Can I get a Manual Vacum Aspiration (MVA) Abortion in Nigeria?

Legal abortions and Post Abortion Care (PAC) services can only be performed by trained and licensed health care providers and should be accessible at most certified public and private health facilities.
Note: Untrained/unregistered providers often perform abortions and PAC, which can lead to complications.
Make sure your chosen provider is certified and trained in comprehensive abortion care.

How Much Does Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) Cost in Nigeria?

The cost of legal abortions and PAC services differ by facility (private or public) and provider depending on the method (medical or surgical), complications and severity of symptoms. The costs can range from USD 3.00 – USD 103.00.

How to get further information?

For additional information and support, you can get in touch with our trained multilingual female counselors

Learn about abortion in your country


by the safe2choose team and supporting experts at carafem, based on the 2019 recommendations by Ipas, and the 2012 recommendations by the WHO.

[1] Cost-effectiveness analysis of unsafe abortion and alternative first-trimester pregnancy termination strategies in Nigeria and Ghana.” African Journal of Reproductive Health, ResearchGate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/49763986_Cost-effectiveness_analysis_of_unsafe_abortion_and_alternative_first-trimester_pregnancy_termination_strategies_in_Nigeria_and_Ghana

[2] “Facts on Unwanted Pregnancy and Induced Abortion in Nigeria.” Guttmacher Institute. https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/factsheet/fb_nigeria.pdf

[3] “Impact of abortion laws on women’s choice of abortion service providers and facilities in southeastern Nigeria.” Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice. https://www.njcponline.com/article.asp?issn=1119-3077;year=2018;volume=21;issue=9;spage=1114;epage=1120;aulast=Chigbu

[4] “An Abortion Pill in a Murky Market.” Pulitzer Center. https://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/abortion-pill-murky-market

[5] “The Incidence of Abortion in Nigeria” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4970740/