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Lagos State Governor Sanwo-Olu Suspends Abortion Guidelines In The State

The governor of Lagos State, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has called for the suspension of the “State Guidelines on Safe Termination of Pregnancy for Legal Indications”.

This was announced in a statement issued by the commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi on Thursday, 7th July 2022. The statement was titled, ‘Retraction on guidelines relating to safe termination of pregnancy for medical reasons in Lagos State.’

According to Sanwo-Olu, the statement would allow for adequate public sensitisation and stakeholder engagement to reach a consensus required for successful guideline development.

The governor said his administration is seeking a different method to eliminate illegal abortion adding that the new guideline would not be implemented until adequate deliberation.

The statement reads, “Among the several factors that contribute to maternal mortality, illegal abortions and high-risk pregnancies leading to irresolvable complications rank high.”

“The Lagos State Ministry of Health is seeking different methods to eliminate illegal abortions and ensure that a mother does not die at childbirth, thereby disrupting an entire family unit.”

“In this regard, it became imperative to examine, in keeping with existing National and State laws and policies, if there are indeed justifications and medical reasons to offer abortion to a woman whose life is threatened by a pregnancy.”

“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 statement added that the Lagos State Ministry of Health was committed to planning, devising, and implementing policies that would promote qualitative, affordable, and equitable healthcare services to the citizenry.

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