The Open Public Health Journal

ISSN: 1874-9445 ― Volume 14, 2021

Perceptions on Abortion and Long-acting Contraceptive Use among Women of Reproductive Age in Selected Nigerian States: A Cross-sectional Study

Obasanjo Afolabi Bolarinwa1, 2, *, Chima Victor2, Olalekan Olagunju2, Balsam Qubais Saeed3
1 Discipline of Public Health Medicine, School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 4041, South Africa
2 Department of Demography & Social Statistics, Faculty of Social Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
3 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 27272, Sharjah, UAE



It is estimated that over 210 million pregnancies occur each year, with almost half of these unplanned. The evidence further shows that about 76 million of these unplanned pregnancies occur in the developing world, with 19% ending in induced abortion and 11% of these abortions being unsafe. In sub-Saharan Africa, 2.2 unplanned pregnancies occur each year, with many of these in Nigeria. Reports show that 760,000 abortions occur each year in Nigeria, resulting in about 20,000 deaths. Abortion is greatly stigmatized in Nigeria, and the lack of a legal framework to support access to abortion services necessitates women to seek abortion services in unsafe places. This study, therefore, examines the perception of women regarding abortion (prevalence and stigma) and long-acting contraceptive (LARC) use in Nigeria.


We performed secondary data analysis of round 5 of performance monitoring and accountability (PMA) in seven states of Nigeria for women in reproductive age (n = 11,284). Responses with regard to abortion incidence, perceptions on stigmatization and LARC use were examined using chi-square (χ2) analysis and binary logistic regression models.


Socio-demographic factors examined were found to be significantly associated with the perception that abortion was common; however, women who were educated to any level were twice more likely to report abortion being common in their communities compared to women who agreed that abortion was shameful. Place of residence was a significant factor and women resident in rural areas were more likely to undergo an abortion (OR = 1.34, 95% CI= 1.21 – 1.48). Further, married women (OR = 15.18, 95% CI=7.40 – 31.11) were 15 times more likely to use LARC.


Perceptions that abortion is common and that it is a shameful practice were found to be underlying contributors to the use of LARC in Nigeria. However, the most significant influence was found to be exerted by respondents’ socio-demographic characteristics. Therefore, government and implementing agencies must develop an intervention to scale-up the use of LARC in Nigeria, and the framework should consider how to tackle socio-demographic barriers to access of contraceptive uptake as this would not only help increase the contraceptive prevalence rate but also reduce mortality from abortions.

Keywords: Abortion, Long-Acting Reversible Contraception, Stigmatization, Perception, Nigeria.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2021
Volume: 14
Publisher Item Identifier (PII): BMS-TOPHJ-2020-122

Article History:

Electronic publication date: 11/1/2021
Collection year: 2021

© 2021 Bolarinwa et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Discipline of Public Health Medicine, School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 4041, South Africa; Tel: +27838467184; E-mail:

Track Your Manuscript:


"Open access will revolutionize 21st century knowledge work and accelerate the diffusion of ideas and evidence that support just in time learning and the evolution of thinking in a number of disciplines."

Daniel Pesut
(Indiana University School of Nursing, USA)

"It is important that students and researchers from all over the world can have easy access to relevant, high-standard and timely scientific information. This is exactly what Open Access Journals provide and this is the reason why I support this endeavor."

Jacques Descotes
(Centre Antipoison-Centre de Pharmacovigilance, France)

"Publishing research articles is the key for future scientific progress. Open Access publishing is therefore of utmost importance for wider dissemination of information, and will help serving the best interest of the scientific community."

Patrice Talaga
(UCB S.A., Belgium)

"Open access journals are a novel concept in the medical literature. They offer accessible information to a wide variety of individuals, including physicians, medical students, clinical investigators, and the general public. They are an outstanding source of medical and scientific information."

Jeffrey M. Weinberg
(St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, USA)

"Open access journals are extremely useful for graduate students, investigators and all other interested persons to read important scientific articles and subscribe scientific journals. Indeed, the research articles span a wide range of area and of high quality. This is specially a must for researchers belonging to institutions with limited library facility and funding to subscribe scientific journals."

Debomoy K. Lahiri
(Indiana University School of Medicine, USA)

"Open access journals represent a major break-through in publishing. They provide easy access to the latest research on a wide variety of issues. Relevant and timely articles are made available in a fraction of the time taken by more conventional publishers. Articles are of uniformly high quality and written by the world's leading authorities."

Robert Looney
(Naval Postgraduate School, USA)

"Open access journals have transformed the way scientific data is published and disseminated: particularly, whilst ensuring a high quality standard and transparency in the editorial process, they have increased the access to the scientific literature by those researchers that have limited library support or that are working on small budgets."

Richard Reithinger
(Westat, USA)

"Not only do open access journals greatly improve the access to high quality information for scientists in the developing world, it also provides extra exposure for our papers."

J. Ferwerda
(University of Oxford, UK)

"Open Access 'Chemistry' Journals allow the dissemination of knowledge at your finger tips without paying for the scientific content."

Sean L. Kitson
(Almac Sciences, Northern Ireland)

"In principle, all scientific journals should have open access, as should be science itself. Open access journals are very helpful for students, researchers and the general public including people from institutions which do not have library or cannot afford to subscribe scientific journals. The articles are high standard and cover a wide area."

Hubert Wolterbeek
(Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)

"The widest possible diffusion of information is critical for the advancement of science. In this perspective, open access journals are instrumental in fostering researches and achievements."

Alessandro Laviano
(Sapienza - University of Rome, Italy)

"Open access journals are very useful for all scientists as they can have quick information in the different fields of science."

Philippe Hernigou
(Paris University, France)

"There are many scientists who can not afford the rather expensive subscriptions to scientific journals. Open access journals offer a good alternative for free access to good quality scientific information."

Fidel Toldrá
(Instituto de Agroquimica y Tecnologia de Alimentos, Spain)

"Open access journals have become a fundamental tool for students, researchers, patients and the general public. Many people from institutions which do not have library or cannot afford to subscribe scientific journals benefit of them on a daily basis. The articles are among the best and cover most scientific areas."

M. Bendandi
(University Clinic of Navarre, Spain)

"These journals provide researchers with a platform for rapid, open access scientific communication. The articles are of high quality and broad scope."

Peter Chiba
(University of Vienna, Austria)

"Open access journals are probably one of the most important contributions to promote and diffuse science worldwide."

Jaime Sampaio
(University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal)

"Open access journals make up a new and rather revolutionary way to scientific publication. This option opens several quite interesting possibilities to disseminate openly and freely new knowledge and even to facilitate interpersonal communication among scientists."

Eduardo A. Castro
(INIFTA, Argentina)

"Open access journals are freely available online throughout the world, for you to read, download, copy, distribute, and use. The articles published in the open access journals are high quality and cover a wide range of fields."

Kenji Hashimoto
(Chiba University, Japan)

"Open Access journals offer an innovative and efficient way of publication for academics and professionals in a wide range of disciplines. The papers published are of high quality after rigorous peer review and they are Indexed in: major international databases. I read Open Access journals to keep abreast of the recent development in my field of study."

Daniel Shek
(Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

"It is a modern trend for publishers to establish open access journals. Researchers, faculty members, and students will be greatly benefited by the new journals of Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. in this category."

Jih Ru Hwu
(National Central University, Taiwan)

Browse Contents

Webmaster Contact:
Copyright © 2021 Bentham Open