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Abortion is a wide issue and the major concern in most of the
discussion on abortion draws heavily from the fact that abortion
constitutes severe danger to a woman’s health but at the same time
when performed by medical specialist (i.e. abortion specialist) is safe
for the woman. Abortion is accepted and also rejected by different
societies and people indulge in abortion for a lot of reasons. some
indulge in abortion so that they can complete their education, some
because of the fear of having a child outside wedlock while others
indulge in abortion to avoid be labelled by the society as “loose”. The
cross-sectional survey is the one adopted in this study and the
sample size of this study is one hundred and seventy (170) possible
respondents. The questionnaire was used for the collection of
primary data. This study is divided into five (5) chapters, the first
chapter is the introduction, the second chapter is the literature
review, the third chapter is the methodology, the fourth chapter is the
data presentation and data analysis and the fifth chapter is the
summary, conclusion and recommendation. This study seeks to
identify those factors that tend to induce abortion among female
university students with focus on the University of Calabar. This
study is beneficial to all categories of women, female students and
the society at large. This study also identifies how abortion affects
the society at large.
Title page—————————————————————-i
Approval page———————————————————ii
Table of content—————————————————- –vi
List of tables————————————————————x
1.1 Background to the Study———————————–1
1.2 Statement of the Problem———————————-4
1.3 Research questions—————————————–7
1.4 Objective of the study—————————————7
1.5 Significance of the study———————————-8
1.6 Definition of terms——————————————-9
2.1 History and origin of abortion——————————-10
2.2 Forms and nature of Abortion——————————-11
2.3 Methods and risk of abortion——————————–12
2.4 Factors contributing to abortion—————————-13
2.5 Society, socio-cultural factors and abortion————-15
2.6 Review of related theories———————————–16
2.7 Theoretical framework—————————————-23
2.8 Study Hypotheses———————————————-24
3.1 Research Design———————————————-26
3.2 Study Area——————————————————-27
3.3 Population of the study————————————–27
3.4 Sample Size—————————————————–27
3.5 Sampling Technique——————————————-28
3.6 Instruments for Data collection—————————-28
3.7 Methods of Data Analysis————————————28
4.1 Socio demographic characteristics of the
respondents (uni-variate analysis)————————-30
4.2 Characteristics in the general knowledge of abortion -37
4.3 Characteristics on reasons or causes of abortion——–44
5.1 Summary———————————————————-56
5.2 Conclusion——————————————————-58
5.3 Recommendations———————————————59
APPENDIX I—————————————————–64
APPENDIX II—————————————————-65
Table 4.1: Distribution of Questionnaire——————————-29
Table 4.2: Percentage distribution of respondents by age——–30
Table 4.3: Percentage distribution of respondents by sex——–31
Table 4.4: Percentage distribution of respondents by religion—32
Table 4.5: Percentage distribution of respondents by
ethnic background———————————————33
Table 4.6: Percentage distribution of respondents by
marital status—————————————————–34
Table 4.7:Percentage distribution of respondents by faculty——35
Table 4.8:Percentage distribution of respondents by their level–36
Table 4.9: Percentage distribution of respondents by methods
Of abortion they are aware of———————————37
Table 4.10: Percentage distribution of respondents by whether
they support abortion among students——————-38
Table 4.11: Percentage distribution of respondents who
Supported abortion by which abortion method
they support—————————————————-39
Table 4.12: Percentage distribution of female respondents
on whether they have ever been pregnant————-40
Table 4.13: Percentage distribution of male respondents
on whether they gave ever gotten a girl pregnant—–41
Table 4.14: Percentage distribution of respondents on
whether they have been directly or indirectly
involved in abortion procurement———————–42
Table 4.15: Percentage distribution of respondents by
whether they would recommend abortion to
other students or anyone———————————-43
Table 4.16: Percentage distribution of respondents
on whether they think students procure
abortion regularly——————————————-44
Table 4.17: Percentage distribution of respondents
on whether they believe that female
students who get pregnant unexpectedly
would terminate their pregnancy in order
to complete their education——————————45
Table 14.8: Percentage distribution of respondents
by whether they believe that stigma associated
with carrying unwanted pregnancy encourages
individuals to terminate it———————————46
Table 4.23: Distribution of respondents by their
response what ground they would procure an
abortion i.e. medical, economic or educational
(Reference Question 24 and 17)———————-47
Table 4.24: Distribution of respondents by sex on
whether stigma associated with unwanted
pregnancy can lead individuals to terminate
the pregnancy(Reference Question 26 and 3)——50
Table 4.25: Distribution of Respondents by Age on whether
fear of becoming a mother at a tender age
leads to the desire to terminate unwanted
pregnancy.( Reference Question 27 and 4) ——–53

Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy associated with the death
and expulsion of a fetus from a uterus before it reaches the stage of
viability. An abortion may occur spontaneously, in normal parlance it
is called a miscarriage, or it may be brought on purposefully in which
case it is often called an induced abortion (
The issue of abortion has attracted substantial attention in recent
times in Nigeria and everywhere in the world; abortion has therefore
become a global issue (Alimson, 2001). The major concern in most
of the discussions on abortion and related situation draws heavily
from the fact that abortion constitutes severe danger to a woman’s
health, but at the same time when performed by medical specialist
(i.e abortion specialists) abortions are safe for the woman, and
relatively simple. Religious institutions are against the abortion
process as they believe abortion is a process of committing murder
and murderer are seen as sinners (Knight, 2003) Whey the society
frowns at it is because of the inherent fact that if the phenomenon is
not regulated it would impact negatively on the population growth
and also on the welfare of women (Barreto, 1992).
Abortion is therefore forbidden in many societies especially the
traditional ones. The “abrupt removal” or premature termination of
babies are said to be as a result of certain factors.
Most societies therefore recognize the importance of medical factors
in pregnancy termination. According to the Oxford medical
Dictionary, induced abortion can be performed for reasons that fall
into four general categories.
i. To preserve the life or physical or mental well-being of the
ii. To prevent the completion of a pregnancy that has resulted
from rape or incest.
iii. To prevent the birth of a child with serious deformity or genetic
iv. To prevent a birth because of the age of a women, therefore, a
girl whose body has not formed property for child birth, or a
woman who has passed her child bearing age, as it could be
dangerous for the two.
Abortions that are performed to preserve the well-being of the
female or in case of rape or incest are therapeutic or justifiable
abortions. Induced abortion is accepted on some countries but in
other countries it is highly forbidden.
However, other factors (economic social, educational, and family
size) have equally become prominent in respect to abortion or
pregnancy termination. Both male and female students are
supposed to be sexually responsible since a lot of student’s in
today’s society are already sexually active, but females always carry
the bulk of the responsibility as they are the ones who would be
greatly affected by any mistake (Alimson, 2001). For instance, a
female student who forget to take necessary pregnancy precautions
and therefore gets pregnant may resort to an abortion for the
following reasons.
i. To complete her education,
ii. ii. To avoid becoming a mother prematurely, as well as the
responsibility attached to it,
iii. To avoid being negatively labelled by the society has been
iv. Fear of having a child out of wedlock. (Almison, 2001:3).
If an investigation or a study is carried out on the category of people
that indulge in abortion, the result will definitely prove that it is
adolescents and youths. The minority will be older people (especially
those who have passed the age of child bearing.).
Several causes have been identified as inducing abortion other than
medical. The phenomenon in most countries is frowned at. In
Nigeria for example the abortion Act of 1967 as amended I n 1982
states the following;
1. If the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the
life of the pregnant woman greater than if the pregnancy was
terminated, the pregnancy should be terminated.
2. If the termination is necessary to prevent grave permanent
impurity to the physical or mental health of the pregnant
woman, it should be terminated.
3. If the pregnancy has not exceeded its 24th week and the
continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk greater than if
the pregnancy were terminated of injury to the physical of
mental health of the existing children of the family of the
pregnant woman, it should be terminated.
4. If there is substantial risk that if the child were born it would
suffer from much physical or mental abnormality as to be
serious by handicapped, the pregnancy should be terminated
(George, 2004:7).
The above Act therefore permits under certain conditions, the
abortion of a pregnancy. Most women we the following conditions to
involve in abortion which has negative effect.
Mindful of the social stigma of having unwanted pregnancies, many
young girls who become pregnant seek abortion as the only way to
end unwanted pregnancies. This however, has serious health risks,
which sometime leads to death to young girls. For instance, unsafe
abortion results in various complications such as haemorrhage,
perforation of the uterus, secondary sterify and even death. It is also
obvious that unsafe abortion has a devastating health impact as
measured by deaths, illnesses, injuries and the cases of emergency
care (Expanding Access to safe Abortion, 1993).
Beside the risks of unsafe abortion, there are serious health risks
involved child bearing as an adolescent or teenager. For instance,
teenagers face greater risk of pelvic bone immaturity, prolonged
labour and other wise difficult birth.
The fear of been sent out of School or dropping out of school
because of unwanted pregnancy makes undergraduate students
involve in abortion and in order to abort the baby, they go to quack
doctors because it is cheap or they take concoctions and this either
kills them or destroys their womb. Money in this case is also a
George (2004) has clearly observed that about 72.5% of those
involved in abortion are female students, 17.5% are unmarried
women, while abort 4.3% are housewives. It is this rate that has
become a problem.
Therefore, this study seeks to look at extent of determinant of
induced abortion among undergraduate students, by looking at the
reason why people involve in abortion and why it is still being
patronized by members of the society.
This study will seek answers to questions such as:
1. What are the negative effects or disadvantage associated with
involvement in abortion?
2. How can abortion affect the society at large?
3. What are the best possible ways to prevent or reduce the
negative effect caused by abortion among undergraduate
4. What are the factors that influence female university students to
get involved in abortion?
The main objective of this study is to identify the causes of abortion
among University Students with focus on the University of Calabar.
The specific objectives of the study are as follows:
i. To identify the negative effect or disadvantages associated
with involvement on abortion.
ii. To determine how abortion affect the society at large.
iii. To suggest means or possible ways to prevent or reduce the
negative effect caused by abortion among undergraduate
iv. To examine those factors that influence female University
Students to get involved in abortion.
This study has both theoretical and practical significance.
This study has not been able to be addressed and reduced,
the society, university authorities and policy makers should be able
to make out polices that will help address the issue of abortion in the
society. Seminars, exhortations, e.t.c should be organized in other
to help solve the situation. People should continue to carry out study
on why undergraduate female students indulge in induced abortion.
The study is therefore significant because it will be beneficial to all
categories of women, female students and the society at large. This
is because the understanding of the causes of abortion will enable
society, university authorities and policy makers look for means to
address and reduce the menace.
It will help individuals identify the negative effect or
disadvantage associated with the involvement of abortion and how it
affects the society at large.
Finally, this study is relevant to explain the incidence of
induced abortion among youths in the society.
1. Abortion:
This is the termination of a pregnancy associated with the
death and expulsion of a fetus from a uterus before it has
reached the stage of viability (in human beings, usually about
the 20th week of gestation).
2. Induced Abortion
This refers to an abortion that is brought about purposefully.
Abortion can be induced for medical reasons or because of an
elective decision to end the pregnancy
3. Pregnancy:
This is the period of time between fertilization of the ovum
(conception) and birth, during which mammals carry their
developing young in the uterus. The duration of pregnancy in
humans is all about 280 days, equal to a calendar month
This is the spontaneous and of a pregnancy before fatal
vivacity (the stage of potential independent survival )


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