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1.1   Background to the study

For a very long time now, both the young and old have taken abortion issue with great concern, whether the person is literate or illiterate in our society or not. A lot of cries and lives have risen about abortion in very many distinguished scholars and educators have done a lot researching on issues relating to abortion, despite all done by these resource personnel, it is disheartening and highly regrettable to note that people still have crude attitude towards abortion.

In modern age of ours, people still get upset and feel shy sometimes at the mere mention of the word ‘abortion’ Also, most student are still ignorant about abortion related issues. As a result of this crude attitude towards abortion, more harm have been done than good to many innocent souls whose lives would have been saved if the right steps and attitudes had been taken at the appropriate time to savage such situation.

Due to this short coming, the investigator decided or rather feel compelled to the study of the attitude of student in College of Education towards abortion. Implication for sex education, it is therefore, the hope of the write that in the course of study, the facts and information put together would help immense college students and those of institution of higher learning. This is turn transcend to members of the society at large to liberate their minds thereby developing the right attitudes and practice towards abortion, it is only through this we can help our students in institution and others, mostly members of the public to reduce the speedy ware of abortion.

Abortion is a global issue in our contemporary society. In developing countries, especially Nigeria, evidence of abortion is obvious in towns and villages as undeveloped neonates are discovered around bush paths, behind maternity premises and besides university hostels and public borrow-pits. Some pharmacy stores have been shut down and doctors apprehended for unlawful participation in practising abortion. Zastrow and Krist-Ashman (2007), defined abortion as the “termination of pregnancy by removing an embryo or fetus from the uterus before it can survive on its own outside the womb”. This act is observed to be done by all classes of women, especially female undergraduate students from all socio-economic and marital status; cultural and religious backgrounds are no restrictions. Early initiation of coitus in the adolescent is often done without birth control and many result in pregnancy which most likely lead to abortion (National Statistical Service, Ministry of Health, and ICF, 2017). 

A close observation of the incidence of abortion in Nigeria shows that abortion is very rampant. It is a common practice among female undergraduate students. Personal experiences by the researchers of frequent occurrence of complications from abortion which often result in death across the states and in various hospitals throughout the country confirm the high rate of abortion in Nigeria. The Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey affirmed the high rate of abortion when it revealed that 91.73 percent of government hospitals and 97.58 percent of private hospitals in Nigeria have attended to patients suffering from abortion complications on an annual basis (National Population Commission Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2014).   

In Port Harcourt alone yesterday (October 28, 2017) a girl of 17-year old in one secondary school student died as a result of complications from abortion of a pregnancy of about three months old. Another case was an undergraduate student who aborted a pregnancy in a roadside chemist. Few hours, later she complained of pains in her lower abdomen and was rushed to University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital where she died of the complications. Cases of this nature are frequent occurrence in various parts of Nigeria. 

Enquiries have shown that abortion is done for several reasons. The most common and obvious reason of all the considerations is that abortion as a last resort to unwanted pregnancy. For female undergraduate students, a pregnancy is principally unwanted because of the fear and shame of interruption in education, fear of parents’ rejection, and the stigma associated with bringing up a child born out of wedlock, as well as the fact that a pregnant female may be ignorant of the person responsible for the pregnancy. 

Abortion is observed to be done at any stage of pregnancy. Most people carry it out at the first trimester, others at the second trimester and a few even at the last trimester notwithstanding the dangers that could result from such acts. A large number of female undergraduate students who seek abortion, do so personally at home, taking self-prescribed drugs and herbs. Some carry out abortion personally by self-administration of drugs that they have seen from the social media online as the Revolutionary Information Age has made possible (Kpolovie & Lale, 2017; Kpolovie & Onoshagbegbe, 2017). Some get it done with drugs or herbs prescribed by unprofessional doctors, nurses, midwives pharmacist as well as traditional birth attendants/herbalists.  However, a few get it done secretly in private hospitals and clinics by professional doctors and nurses. Abortion, though widely practised in the Nigerian society, has long-term attendant consequences that include physical health problem, psychological and social problems that are dangerous and destructive, sometimes culminating in death. 

Abortion is an important topic of discussion, particularly in regards to reproductive health and family productivity. According to Shiers(1999), abortion is “the termination of pregnancy before 24weeks of gestation”. In other words, abortion is the act of bringing a pregnancy to an end before the sixth month. The World Health Organization (2004; 1998) defined abortion as “the termination of pregnancy before the embryo/fetus attains the age of viability”.  In defining the age of viability, Okoye(2006) explained that in Nigeria and many other countries, the age of viability is accepted to be 28weeks of gestation, which is the 7th month of pregnancy. This connotes any removal of fetus from the uterus at the 7th month of pregnancy or after that can be considered as birth rather than abortion. In consonance with the view of Ramalingan (2006) abortion is the ‘premature termination of pregnancy, and from the seventh month, a fetus could be considered as matured.

Furthermore, Agbakwuru and Ekechukwu (2009:91), assert that abortion is “the deliberate expulsion of an embryo or fetus.“Abortion as in this view is a willful and intentional act of interfering with a pregnancy, not attaching importance to the stage at which the pregnancy is terminated. Also, it implies that some abortions are induced, some are not. In line with this view, Okoye(2006) outlined three classes of abortion based on the circumstances that led to it. These include; spontaneous abortion, which is natural, therapeutic abortion which is life-saving and induced abortion which he called ‘criminal or illegal’ abortion. Okoye also explained that induced abortion is an “artificial or intentional termination of pregnancy using any of the numerous methods against the law of the country”. Based on the above classification, the definition of abortion given by Agbakwuru and Ekechukwu (2009:91), falls within induced abortion. The researchers also consider abortion as the removal or evacuation of the embryo/fetus from the uterus before the seventh month of pregnancy.

Abortion has been the concern of many researchers over the years. A study carried out on abortion concerning common rights discovered that the limitation of human rights increases the case and exacerbates the problems and consequences of unsafe abortion (Ganatra, 2006; Alamieyeseigha & Kpolovie, 2013). Further investigation on the dangers and consequences of abortion on women found that abortion is dangerous to health of women generally and particularly their reproductive health, concluding that abortion has both immediate and long-term consequences on women and society at large (Fisher, 2008).

Abortion is a crucial and sensitive topic with controversial inclinations, especially among Nigerian female undergraduate students. Abortion is also a subject on which many people feel strongly in both directions; some favour it while others object to it. Emotions of people, particularly those of women run so high when issues on abortion are being raised or discussed. 

Abortion is commonly practised by several women and girls in the various states in Nigeria. Those engaged in abortion do so even when they are aware that abortion is a dangerous procedure and against the law in the country. There are instances of severe pains and bleeding, infections, future miscarriages, complications in pregnancy and barrenness among other problems arising from abortion done unprofessionally that may result to death most times.

1.2   Statement of the problem

This study mainly aimed at finding out clearly the attitudes of College of Education towards abortion. The study aimed at finding clear term what and how students who are in college in both rural and urban areas feel about abortion. Psychological and emotional problems such as depression, guilt trauma, not forgiving oneself and transfer of aggression are also observed to be common experience of those who carryout abortion. Also, these emotional problems may result in some maladjusted behaviour and social problems that affect the home and society at large. Therefore, the problem of this study is determination of the attitude of female undergraduates towards abortion in Nigeria.

It is the purpose of this study to find out whether female undergraduate students have positive or negative attitude towards abortion. Precisely, this investigation is aimed at ascertaining the attitude of female: 

1.                   Undergraduates towards abortion in Nigeria.

2.                   Whether abortion should be legalized in Nigeria. 

1.3   Purpose of the study

The main purpose of this study is the attempt of College of Education, Ekiadolor towards abortion and the implication of counseling.

The above statement raised, are developed to act as a guide to the study. Among other things, this study will examine these factor influencing pregnancy due to rape, incest, fetus information and the attitudes colleges have towards abortion or these pregnancies.

Specifically, the following research objectives were introduced:

1.                   To investigate if the attitude of female undergraduates towards abortion differ in Nigeria.

2.                   To examinie the extent to which female students’ attitude towards abortion differ with respect to age (11-20, 21-30, 31-40).

3.                   To examine the attitude of Christian and Muslim female students  towards abortion?

4.                   To examine the attitude of married and unmarried female undergraduates towards abortion?

5.                   What is the attitude of urban and rural students towards abortion in Nigeria?

1.4   Research question

In order to address the topic the researchers has formulated the following research question

1.                   To what extent does the attitude of female undergraduate students towards abortion differ in Nigeria?

2.                   What is the extent to which female students’ attitude towards abortion differ with respect to age (11-20, 21-30, 31-40)? 

3.                   What is the attitude of Christian and Muslim female students towards abortion?

4.                   What is the attitude of married and unmarried female undergraduates towards abortion?

5.                   What is the attitude of urban and rural students towards abortion in Nigeria?

1.5   Hypotheses of the study

1.                   There is no significant difference between the attitude of female undergraduate towards abortion in Nigeria.

2.                   Female students' attitude towards abortion does not significantly differ with respect to age (11-20, 21-30, 31-40).

3.                   There is no significant difference between Christian and Muslim female students’ attitude towards abortion.

4.                   There is no significant difference between married and unmarried female students’ attitude towards abortion.

5.                   Urban and rural students do not significantly differ in their attitude towards abortion.

1.6   Scope of the study

The study was limited to students in College of Education, Ekiadolor Benin. Students in their final year, (of both sexes) were used from those college to judges from the fact that abortion cases are very common with our college students.

Consequently, they stand a better chance of gilcing and supplying accurate data’s the way they respond too, will help to affirm or reject issues bothering on abortion.

The scope of this study will generally centered on the attitudes of students in college towards abortion. The study was carried out in College of Education Ekiadolor (Both male and females) in Edo State.

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