David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Ipas, an international organisation that champions the reproductive health and rights of women has called on the federal government to consider a review of the restrictive laws on abortion, saying that the law was costing women their lives in large number in the country.
The interim country director of Ipas, Mr. Lucky Palmer, stated this in Owerri, Imo State, during a training workshop organised by them for journalists in Anambra and Abia states.
Palmer whose paper; abortion and the law was presented by Mr. Doris Ikpeze, a policy adviser with the organisation said there was need to review the laws surrounding abortion in Nigeria, as its restrictive nature had pushed many women to indulge in unsafe abortion, which has often cost them their lives.
Palmer said, “Access to abortion is particularly important for women and girls who are victims of sexual violence, rape and incest.
“There is a need for review of the restrictive abortion laws due to the human rights implications of unsafe abortion.”
He urged journalists to push for the domestication of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act of 2015 in Abia State, while commending Anambra for the domestication of the law.
He however noted that the Act was not fully operational in Anambra State. She wondered why the country would continue to sign international and regional treaties that it would not keep.
“Lack of political will on the part of the government will only continue to send our women to their early graves in large number, despite being signatories to so many international and regional treaties that promote women reproductive health and rights such as the African Union protocol on rights of women in Africa.”
The three day workshop also featured several papers and resource persons including former country director of the group, Mrs. Hauwa Shekarau, Mr. Emma Ugorji and Dr. Nzeribe; a renowned medical practitioner in Imo State.