Abortion pills: How safe are they?

Over the counter drugs in Nigeria is very common and this applies to any drugs known to man.  Often times, a lot of the medicines we buy have instructions in languages other than English, so hard to read advice directly from manufacturers.

NAFDAC is trying to clamp down on unsafe drugs distributed to market places, but more needs to be done to safe people.

My sister wanted to know if I had any experience with abortion pill, she was worried about her neighbour’s health.

I met the woman in question a few months ago, she is married and had a two year old child. She was on a contraception but decided to stop as she thought her weight loss was related to the pill. Not long after, she became pregnant. The lady and her husband decided they were not ready for another child just yet so she took some abortion pills. A week later, panicked nothing has happened, she took another dosage.

Shortly after the lady started bleeding, heavily so rushed to the nearby clinic who helped as much as they could and was discharged a week after.

Two days later she had to be rushed back to the hospital, luckily this time teaching hospital in the area has called off strike so was attended to by specialists.

She was first admitted to the clinic mid July, now six weeks later she is still there, healing but still in pain.

Abortion is illegal in Nigeria, allowed if mother’s life is in danger, despite this, abortion pills are readily available from shops, mostly unregulated ones.

The close experience I had with abortion pill was not a good one. My close friend took several pills without telling anyone, she ended up spending almost a year between Wesley and OAU teaching hospital. I witnessed Mama T wasting away in a hospital bed with nurses judging rather than helping her. She was lucky to be alive. She survived the ordeal with permanent reminder to her – limping, deaf in both ears and womb removed.

To my sister I reminded her of my friend’s story. I am pro choice, if one must go down abortion line, it is important to get a doctor’s advice for the right drug and dosage. We’ve got one life.

My prayer is that my sister’s neighbour pulls through, hopefully with no permanent mark.

While many women would get away with taking these unregulated drugs, some people are not so lucky hence I believe women are the one to be responsible for their lives here and treat oneself with utmost care.