Alleged Mass Abortion: Nigerian Army chief testifies as Human Rights Commission continues investigation

Reuters reported that the Nigerian military since 2013 carried out “a secret, systematic and illegal abortion program in the country’s northeast, ending at least 10,000 pregnancies."

By Ameh Ejekwonyilo 
March 26, 2023

The Nigerian Army has formally dismissed a Reuters report of alleged mass abortion carried out by the military on victims of Boko Haram terrorism in the North-east.

The Chief of Army Staff, Farouk Yahaya, issued the denial Saturday in Abuja while testifying before a panel set up by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to investigate the matter.


Mass Abortion: Panel begins probe of Nigerian military

The panel is specifically mandated to investigate the allegations of forced mass abortion on pregnant women by the troops of the Nigerian military, as revealed in an investigation by Reuters last year.

By Yemi Aruna 
February 12, 2023

The Abdu Aboki-led Special Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations set up by the Nigerian government to probe the allegations of gross rights violation by the country’s military has commenced sitting in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.

The panel is specifically mandated to investigate the allegations of forced mass abortion on pregnant women by the troops of the Nigerian military, as revealed in an investigation by Reuters last year.


Contextualizing the Nigerian Government’s Forced Abortion Program

By Hilary Matfess, Robert Nagel
Sunday, February 12, 2023

In December 2022, Reuters released a shocking report detailing a forced abortion campaign by the Nigerian government that targeted women who were impregnated by members of Boko Haram. The report suggests that the program involved at least five hospitals and five military bases and affected roughly 10,000 women over the course of nearly a decade, which would almost certainly require a degree of oversight and endorsement by senior authorities in the Nigerian government. The accounts from women who were subjected to these forced abortions are harrowing; they reported being given pills or injections to induce abortions without understanding what effect the treatment would have. The program was reportedly justified as a means of eradicating the threat of future insurgents and operated despite Nigeria’s strict regulations on abortion. The Nigerian government has denied these allegations. But in a conflict that has been marked by distressing levels of gender-based violence—including the abduction of women and girls into the ranks of the insurgents—the report added another dimension of systematic state violence against Nigerian women


Nigeria’s Alleged Forced Abortion Campaign Demands Action

For too long, the international community has ignored the Nigerian military’s abuses.

By Lauren Aarons, Akila Radhakrishnan, and Osai Ojigho
FEBRUARY 9, 2023

Last December, reports of a shocking program of forced abortions emerged in Nigeria. The Nigerian military, a Reuters investigation found, has allegedly forcibly terminated the pregnancies of at least 10,000 women and girls who were rescued or returned from Boko Haram-controlled territories in the country’s northeast. A follow-up report found that the army has also massacred children. Both patterns of abuse, Reuters reported, are part of the military’s systematic campaign amid the Boko Haram conflict to end the armed group’s supposed “bloodline.”

Nigerian authorities have rejected these allegations outright, but this is not the first report detailing alleged abuses by the Nigerian military in the Boko Haram conflict. Nor is it the first report to find patterns of violence, including possible crimes against humanity, in which the military has specifically targeted women and girls. For too long, this issue has been ignored by Nigeria’s allies and the United Nations. Now, the international community must act.


Nigerian rights commission panel to probe abortion allegations against military

February 1, 2023

LAGOS - Nigeria's human rights commission has appointed a special panel whose role will include investigating a Reuters report that the military ran a secret abortion programme in its fight against Islamist insurgents in the northeast.

The Nigerian military said it would not carry out an investigation because the report was not true.  The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which is appointed by the government, said in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday that it would launch the special panel next week in Abuja.


Nigeria – Probe abortion report, feminists urge FG

24th January 2023

By  Gbenga Oloniniran

Nigerian feminists have urged the Federal Government, through the National Human Rights Commission, to probe the forced abortions report allegedly perpetuated by the military in the northeastern part of Nigeria.

An international news agency, Reuters, had accused the Nigerian Army of running a programme where forceful abortions were carried out on female victims of Boko Haram/Islamic State in West African Province.


Nigeria – Plateau health agency trains 100 on post abortion care

January 20, 2023
 by Blessing Odega

The Plateau State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (PLASCHEMA) on Friday trained 100 heads of Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) on post abortion care to reduce maternal mortality.

The Director-General, PLASCHEMA, Dr Fabong Yildam, said that the rate of maternal mortality due to unsafe abortions was on the rise in the country, particularly in Plateau.


Nigeria – Debate rages over ban on ‘safe’ abortion rights

By Chukwuma Muanya and Ijeoma Nwanosike
12 January 2023  

In recent times there have been global uproar on merits and demerits of abortion, especially in the United States (U.S.) and Nigeria. The US, which used to be liberal on issues of abortion, recently banned the procedure in most states in the country. In Nigeria, an attempt by the Lagos State government to legalise the procedure was shut down, forcing Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to suspend the plan.

Until now, the levels of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion continue to be high in Nigeria due to low contraceptive prevalence. A substantial number of women have unintended pregnancies, many of which are resolved through clandestine abortion, despite the country’s restrictive abortion law.


Nigeria – Unintended Pregnancies: Boosting Access To Utilisation Of Family Planning

By Chioma Umeha
On Dec 23, 2022

Boosting access to the utilisation of family planning as a means of minimizing unintended pregnancies has been proven in studies to be helpful in lowering the problem in nations with high maternal mortality rates.

Sadly, many African nations, like Nigeria, still have low utilisation and availability of contraceptives. According to the 2018 Global Family Planning Report, Nigeria had nearly 1.3 million unintended pregnancies in 2018, yet only 13.8 percent of Nigerian women utilised contraception at the same time.


Senator wants review of U.S. security assistance to Nigeria following abortion report

By David Lewis and Daphne Psaledakis
December 19, 2022

NAIROBI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has requested a review of U.S. security assistance and cooperation programs in Nigeria following Reuters reporting on an illegal abortion program and killing of children carried out by the Nigerian military.

Risch, in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken seen by Reuters, also called for the State Department to examine the potential use of sanctions in addition to an expeditious review of U.S. security assistance and cooperation.