Why Are Nigerians Searching For Abortion Pills?
In the past 10 years, countries with restrictive abortion laws have higher search interest on abortion pills, than anywhere else in the world.
In a report by the BBC, based on data from Google Search results, Nigeria and Ghana are the two countries with the highest search interest in the abortion pill, Misoprostol.
Due to the stringent laws and cultural shame that comes with abortions, must women are increasingly finding 'relief' by buying pills online and sharing their 'medical advice' via WhatsApp groups.
Ghana and Nigeria, the two countries with the highest Google search interest in Misoprostol, have some of the strictest abortion laws.
While Nigeria's West African neighbor permits abortions in cases of rape, incest, foetal impairment or to preserve a woman's mental health, Nigeria only allows abortion when the woman's life is in danger.
According to the Nigerian Criminal Code, any person carrying out the procedure for abortion is guilty of a felony, and could get up to 14 years jail time, while the woman aborting the baby could get 7 years imprisonment.
A 2015 research conducted by the United States-based Guttmacher Institute, in collaboration with University of Ibadan (UI), found that over 1.25 million abortions are carried out in Nigeria every year, and at least 22,800 women die each year from complications of unsafe abortion.
Google data showed that the words that were commonly used to search for the pills were; "Abortion pills", "How to abort", "How to use Misoprostol", "Misoprostol price", "buy Misoprostol" and "Misoprostol dosage"
Although Misoprostol is normally considered safe when administered by a medical professional, when it is used by an untrained person, it could lead to death of the pregnant woman.
Would legalizing abortion reduce the death rate?