Lagos suspends guidelines on lawful abortion  


Oluwatobiloba Jaiyeola

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has announced the suspension of the implementation of the state’s abortion guidelines following a public outcry against the policy.

According to him, the suspension will allow the ministry sensitise the public properly and engage with all stakeholders to reach an agreement on the implementation of the guideline.

Prof. Abayomi disclosed this on Thursday, in a statement released by the ministry signed by him.

The commissioner said it became crucial to examine, in keeping with existing National and State laws and policies, if there are explanations and medical reasons to offer abortion to a woman whose life is endangered by a pregnancy.

The ministry, he added, is in search of different approaches to eradicate illegal abortions in the state, adding that the state will make sure that no mother dies during childbirth.

The commissioner said, “Following this, the guideline was developed over four years through painstaking work by experts in Law and in Obstetrics and Gynaecology with a focus on creating the opportunity to reduce maternal mortality and in line with existing laws.

“These guidelines have generated immense public interest which has necessitated escalating it to Mr. Governor, who has advised further sensitization of the public and key stakeholders to ensure a clearer understanding of the objectives of the guidelines.

“To this end, we are suspending the implementation of these guidelines in the meantime for the Executive Council to deliberate on this matter and ensure adequate public sensitization and stakeholder engagement to reach a consensus required for successful guideline development.

“The Lagos State Ministry of Health remains committed to planning, devising, and implementing policies that promote qualitative, affordable, and equitable healthcare services to the citizenry.”

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