Nigeria’s Abortion Provisions

Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act, Chapter 345 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Revised ed. 1990), Articles 232-236
Criminal Code Act, Chapter 77 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Revised ed. 1990), Articles 228-230, 297, 309, 328


Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act, Chapter 345 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Revised ed. 1990), Articles 232-236

(This law applies in the northern states of Nigeria.)

232 . Causing miscarriage.

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.

233 . Death caused by act done with intent to cause miscarriage.

Whoever with intent to cause the miscarriage of a woman whether with child or not does any 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.

234 . Causing miscarriage unintentionally.

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.

235 . Act done with intent to prevent child being born alive or to cause it to die after birth.

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 and does by such act prevent that child from being born alive or causes 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.

236 . Causing death of quick unborn child by act amounting to culpable homicide.

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.


Criminal Code Act, Chapter 77 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Revised ed. 1990), Articles 228-230, 297, 309, 328

(This law applies in the southern states of Nigeria.)

 

228. Attempts to procure abortion.

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.

229. Attempt to procure own miscarriage.

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.

230. Supplying drugs or instruments to procure abortion.

Any person who unlawfully supplies to or procures for any person any thing 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.

The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.

[…]

297. Surgical operations.

A person is not criminally responsible for performing in good faith and with reasonable care and 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 circumstances of the case.

[…]

309. Death by acts done at childbirth.

When a child dies in consequence of an act done or omitted to be done by any person before or during its birth, the person who did or omitted to do such act is deemed to have killed the child.

[…]

328. Killing unborn child.

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.