Sanwo-Olu says that the suspension would enable sufficient stakeholder involvement and public awareness-raising.
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
The “State Guidelines on Safe Termination of Pregnancy for Legal Indications” have been asked for to be suspended by Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. ‘
Retraction of guidelines for safe abortion for medical reasons in Lagos State was made public on Thursday, July 7, 2022, according to a statement from the commissioner of health, Prof. Akin Abayomi.
The governor stated that his government is looking for an alternative approach to ending illegal abortion, adding that the new policy would not be put into effect until enough time has passed for sufficient consideration.
To obtain the necessary agreement for effective guideline formulation, Sanwo-Olu contended that the suspension would allow for sufficient stakeholder participation and public sensitization.
The statement reads, “Among the several factors that contribute to maternal mortality, illegal abortions and high-risk pregnancies leading to unresolvable 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 Lagos State Ministry of Health was also dedicated to planning, developing, and implementing policies that would promote excellent, affordable, and equitable healthcare services to the citizens, according to the statement.
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