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Abortion Law in Nigeria - Free Nursing Books - Nurses Arena Forum

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Abortion Law in Nigeria by katty : April 13, 2016, 01:47:13 AM
In Nigeria, abortion law is restrictive and encoded in the portions of the Criminal and Penal codes related to miscarriage, culled from the “British Offence against the persons” Act of 1861 and annotated by S. S. Richardson in 1933, excerpts of which is as follows:

 Criminal code act

This is applicable mainly in Southern Nigeria and includes Sections 228, 229, 230, 297 and 328 of the Criminal code.

 Section 228
Any person who, with intent to procure miscarriage of a woman whether she is or is not with child, unlawfully administers to her or causes her to take any poison or other noxious thing, or uses any force of any kind, or uses any other means whatever, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.

 Section 229
Any woman who, with intent to procure her own miscarriage, whether she is or is not with child, unlawfully administers to herself any poison or other noxious thing, or uses any force of any kind, or uses any other means whatever, or permits any such thing or means to be administered or used to her, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

 Section 230
Any person who unlawfully supplies to or procures for any person anything whatever, knowing that it is intended to be unlawfully used to procure the miscarriage of a woman, whether she is or is not with child, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years.


 Section 297
A person is not criminally responsible for performing in good faith and with reasonable skill a surgical operation upon any person for his benefit, or upon an unborn child for the preservation of the mother’s life, if the performance of the operation is reasonable, having regard to the patient’s state at the time and to all the circustances of the case.

 Section 328
Any person who, when a woman is about to be delivered of a child, prevents the child from being born alive by any act or omission of such a nature that, if the child had been born alive and had then died, he would be deemed to have unlawfully killed the child, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for life.

 Penal code

This is applicable to Northern Nigeria:

 Section 232 – Causing a woman to miscarry
Whoever voluntarily causes a woman with child to miscarry shall, if such miscarriage be not caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the woman, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to fourteen years or with fine or with both.

Section 233 – Causing death of a woman with the intent of causing her miscarriage
Whoever with intent of causing the miscarriage of a woman whether with child or not doesany act which causes the death of such woman, shall be punished:
a. with imprisonment for a term which may extend to fourteen years and shall also be liable to fine and
b. if the act is done without the consent of the woman, with imprisonment for life, or for any less term and shall also be liable to fine.

 Section 234 – Using force on a woman to cause her miscarriage
Whoever uses force to any woman and thereby unintentionally causes her to miscarry, shall be punished:
a. with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or with both and
b. if the offender knew that the woman was with child, he shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years or with fine or with both.

 Section 235 – Preventing a child from being born alive
Whoever before the birth of any child does any act with the intention of thereby preventing that child from being born alive or causing it to die after its birth, shall if such act be not caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the mother, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to fourteen years or with fine or with both.

 Section 236 – Causing the death of unborn child

Whoever does any act in such circumstances that, if he thereby caused death , he would be guilty of culpable homicide, and does by such act cause the death of a quick unborn child shall be punished with imprisonment for life or for a less term and shall also be liable to fine


(http://annualreview.law.harvard.edu/population/abortion/NIGERIA.abo.htm).

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