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The Determinants of Induced Abortion Among Undergraduate Students in Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy, Enugu

The Determinants of Induced Abortion Among Undergraduate Students in Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy, Enugu

The Determinants of Induced Abortion Among Undergraduate Students in Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy, Enugu

Chapter One


The main objective of this study is to identify the causes of abortion among University Students with focus on the Federal college of dental technology and therapy Enugu. The specific objectives of the study are as follows:

  1. To identify the negative effect or disadvantages associated with involvement on abortion.
  2. To determine how abortion affect the society at large.
  3. To suggest means or possible ways to prevent or reduce the negative effect caused by abortion among undergraduate students.
  4. To examine those factors that influence female University Students to get involved in abortion.




The history of abortion according to anthropologists, dates back to the ancient times, as abortion in some form, has existed in the human race for millennia. Ancient tribes would sometimes be forced to more quickly, and pregnant women could slow the entire tribe down. Abuses of the woman’s abdomen, and later abuse through excessive horseback riding, could cause the baby to be born prematurely. This baby was either then killed or left to die. Unfortunately, the mother also frequently died during the birthing (Gluion, 1985). Today abortion is much safer for the mother, but just as deadly to the childe. There were evidence to show that historically, pregnancies were terminated through a number of methods, including the administration of abortificient herbs, the use of sharpened implements, the application of abdominal pressure, and other techniques.

Historically, culture plays an important role in the behaviour of people or groups with culture varieties as equally differential approaches to the issue of abortion. Hundreds of thousands of years ago there were no pregnancy tests and no tools to perform early term abortions. By the time an abortion was performed, the baby was delivered, primitively but alive, and then the abortion process would be completed by infanticide of a born child (Gluion 1985).

Until 19th century, methods of abortion no matter how remotely modern did not appear and the state did not prohibit abortion until the 19th century but the traition of women’s right to early abortion was rooted in U. S Society by then (George,  2004).


Abortion is not just a simple medical procedure. For many women, it is a life changing event significant physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences. Most women who struggle with past abortions say that they wished they had been told of all the facts about the abortion and the risk (Henshaw, Singh and Haas, 1999).

The programme of the action of the 1994 conference on population and development held in Cairo urged government and other relevant organizations “to deal with the health impact of unsafe abortions as a major public health concern and to reduce the recourse of abortion through expanded and improved family planning services” (U.N Conference on population and Development, 1994). However, in spite of the recommendation of the conference, abortion forms and nature varied across culture and countries all over the world.

There are different ways and abortion can be performed. Different methods are used under different circumstances and after different developments of the embryo or fetus. No. method of abortion is 100% successful.





Research Design is the aspect of the research process which provides answers to the questions of what, why, how, where, when, who, etc (Soyombo, 1999:59). In collecting the data, two main methods were envisaged. These are survey and non-survey methods. The former involves direct contact between the researcher and the subjects which entails questioning and answering, while the latter involves collection of data about subjects without necessary asking them questions.

For the purpose of this study, the survey research method was adopted as it is very useful. The survey research method becomes acceptable because it will enable the researcher to directly investigate the phenomenon. Survey methods are divided into two viz: Cross sectional Survey and longitudinal surveys. Hence, due to the scope and context of this study, the Cross-sectional survey is the one adopted.


The area of study was Federal college of dental technology and therapy Enugu. The Enugu State University is situated in Ado Ekiti, Enugu State, Nigeria.


According to the dictionary of sociology by Marshal Gordon, in statistical terms, “a population refers to the aggregate of individuals

or units from which a sample is drawn, and to which the result analysis are to apply. The total population of Ado Ekiti is 371,022 as at 2006 census. It has area of 406km2.

The aggregate number of persons within Federal college of dental technology and therapy Enugu is 40,642



A total of one hundred and seventy questionnaires were distributed, one hundred and fifty were returned.  Hence, analysis of data would be organized using percentages. The questions are s contained in the questionnaire.



This study seeks to identify those factors that tend to induce abortion among female University students or undergraduates in Nigeria. It seeks closely and precisely those factors that tend to motivate or influence individual undergraduate students to indulge in abortion practice. The issue of abortion is a Universal Phenomenon which has gained worldwide attention. Various variables have been identified to posses over bearing influence on this issue of abortion practice among individuals all over the world.

All this has equally been established to be directly or indirectly related to medical factors, socio-economic factors and socio-Cultural factors. Therefore it is established that relationship exists between abortion and factors listed above. Hence, to effect an investigation into this relationship, a study of the Federal college of dental technology and therapy Enugu Students (Undergraduates – both male and female), was carried out.

Previous relevant and appropriate literature and works on the subject matter are critically examined and received. Among the relevant works reviewed are Adepoju (1991), Alimson (2001),

Bankole and Adebayo (1999), Barreto (1992), Edjah (1999),

Fagbemi (2001), George (2004), Gluion (1985), Henshaw et al (1999), Lucas (1985), Norton and Walls (1983) and others were examined and received. The review of relevant literature provided the necessary background and platform for the proper understanding and direction of the study.

The review of literature is followed by application of appropriate theoretical framework. Those theories describing and examining the phenomenon of unwanted pregnancy and induced abortion were highlighted with the view of drawing a relationship between the variables involved. Hence, “theory of reasoned action”, “the health belief model”, “the social cognitive theory”, and “the protection motivation theory” were critically highlighted and adopted. These theories have significantly sought to give explanations to variables that make up or continue behavioral pattern towards sexual activities, unwanted pregnancies and abortion. The application of appropriate theories led to the formulation of research hypothesis.


This study has shown that certain social, economic and cultural factors can lead to induced abortion among individuals. This was ascertained through a study conducted among the Federal college of dental technology and therapy Enugu, Enugu State students. This study shows that these factors presented themselves in number of ways to influence individual’s behaviour pattern in a particular way. Thus is apparent therefore that induced abortion is the outcome of various factors that are likely to constitute social, economic, cultural, religious, etc. problems for the individuals. It is apparent therefore that the intention to terminate unwanted pregnancy is dependent on certain possible outcome of keeping the pregnancy that may jeopardize the social, economic and cultural life of the individual.

In general therefore, the conclusion derivable from this study is that induced abortion is usually motivated by factors likely to constitute constraint on the individual behaviour pattern in relation to the large society. These include the individual being financially constrained; being labelled loose, being stigmatized, being unable to cope with responsibility alone, being rejected by parents etc, in this regard, and induced abortion seems to be the on only alternative to avoid all these negativity.


This study has identified that certain factors tend to influence individuals to indulge in induced abortion. The study has further shown that these variables (economic, Social, Cultural, religious) associated with upholding societal values influences individual intention to indulge in abortion.

This translates to mean that socio-economic factors portend significant and overbearing effect on induced abortion. This means that those who indulge in abortion do so to avoid certain unpleasant future experiences. In this aspect therefore, the following recommendations suffice.

First, it is important that the issue of abortion should be seen as a very critical issue that should be treated with utmost importance. In this wise, one would expect that the government would make available means by which induced abortion could be effectively handled. This becomes necessary so as to safeguard the life of the individual involved.

Secondly, abortion seems very inevitable as long as necessary precautions are being neglected. In this connection, it is suggested that individuals indulging in abortion practice should endeavour to ensure that necessary measures are taken to avoid negative health effect that may follow such action.

Thirdly, individuals indulging in induced abortion should equally endeavour to seek appropriate medical means. In this regard, they should hesitate to consult qualified medical personnel that will take necessary medical examination and recommend them most appropriate methods.

Fourthly, since it is established that for certain reasons abortion seems relevant, it is therefore important to suggest that each tertiary institution should ensure that its medical outfit or unit is well equipped to handle such situations.

Lastly, undergraduates should be educated in the area of preventive and reproductive health matters. This will enable them to have adequate knowledge and understanding of steps to take when unwanted pregnancy suffice. More importantly, it will also provide them the opportunity to avoid falling victims to quack medical practitioners.


  • Adepoju, A. S. (1991). Reducing the incidence of abortion through           behavioural and social change. A paper presented at a           national workshop on youths and reproductive health           behaviour.
  • Alimson, A. (2001). Perceptions of sexual behaviours and           knowledge about pregnancy termination among adolescents in           selected states in Nigeria. Family Planning and Reproductive           health, 25 (4).
  • Asika, N. (1991). Research methodology in the behavioural science.           Lagos: Longman Press.
  • Bankole, T. A., & Adebayo, F. M. (1999). “Youths and abortion,           issue in Nigeria. Paper presented at a one-day workshop           organized by health”. Review journal in conjunction with Lagos           State Ministry of Health, April.
  • Barreto, T. (1992). Investigating induced abortion in developing           countries: Methods and problems. Studies in family planning           23 (3): 159-170.
  • Edijah, K. (1999). Some aspects of the adolescent Sexual behaviour           in Ife. Psychology, 7(2), 128 – 138.
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica Online (2007).
  • Fagbemi, S. M. (2001). Abortion incidence and prevalence:      community Heath Review; 4,10-14
  • George, C. (2004). Legal issue of abortion and empirical evidence           available. The week International. September 17.
  • Gluion, S. (1985). The history of abortion. Retrieved from
  • Goldman, E. (1911). The Effect of Abortion. New York: Mother Earth           Publishing Association.
  • Henshaw, S. K., Singh, S., & Haas, T. (1999). “The incidence of           abortion worldwide”. In International family planning           perspective 25, 30-38
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