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Police say that anyone who has an abortion in Nigeria could go to jail

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Aliyu Giwa, a police officer in the Force Public Relations Office (FPRO), said that it is against the law in Nigeria for anyone to have an abortion on themselves or on someone else.

He said this in a tweet on Tuesday, where he pointed to parts of the constitution that say this kind of abortion is illegal, along with other crimes that are similar.

He said that anyone who has anything to do with a miscarriage, whether directly or indirectly, could go to jail.

He wrote, “If you know this already! This is a reminder, then. And if you don’t know, you should find out now! Parts 228 and 230 of the Criminal Code Act say:

“228. ATTEMPTS TO GET AN ABORTION: Anyone who, with the intent to get a pregnant woman to miscarry, illegally gives her poison or something else harmful, uses force of any kind, or does anything else, is guilty of a felony and could go to prison for 14 years.

“229: Trying to cause your own miscarriage. Any woman who, with the intent to cause her own miscarriage, illegally gives herself poison or anything else that could hurt her, uses force of any kind, or any other method, or lets any of these things or methods be used on her, is guilty of a felony and could go to prison for seven years.

“230. Giving someone drugs or tools to get an abortion. Anyone who illegally gives or gets something for someone else with the knowledge that it will be used illegally to cause a woman to miscarry, whether she is pregnant or not, is guilty of a felony and can be sent to prison for three years.

“If you already know this and don’t care, then. My brother and sister, God will definitely find out who you are.”

We were not able to find any recent data on the number of abortions in Nigeria. But the Guttmacher Institute says that there were about 1.25 million abortions in Nigeria in 2012, which is equal to 33 abortions for every 1,000 women aged 15–49.

“Abortion was used to end 56 percent of unplanned pregnancies,” the study said. About 212,000 women were treated for problems caused by an unsafe abortion, which is 5.6 per 1,000 women of reproductive age. Another 285,000 women had serious health problems but did not get the care they needed.

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