Abortion is a major issue in our present society. In Nigeria, evidence of abortion is very obvious in cities and villages as undeveloped neonates are seen around bush paths, behind maternity environments and besides university hostels and public borrow-pits. Some pharmacy stores have been closed down and doctors arrested for unlawful involvement in practicing abortion. According to Zastrow and Krist-Ashman (2012) abortion is the “termination of pregnancy by removing an embryo or fetus from the uterus before it can survive on its own outside the womb”. This act is observed to be done by all classes of women, especially female undergraduates and secondary school students from all socio-economic and marital status; cultural and religious backgrounds are no restrictions. Early initiation of coitus in the adolescent is often carried out without birth control and many result in unwanted pregnancy which most likely lead to termination (National Statistical Service, Ministry of Health, and ICF, 2017). A close observation of the issues of abortion in Nigeria signifies that abortion is very rampant. It is a common practice among female undergraduates and secondary school students. Personal experiences by the researchers of rampant occurrence of health complications resulting from abortion which lead to death across the states and in different hospitals throughout the country confirm the high rate of abortion in Nigeria. The Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey affirmed the high rate of abortion when it revealed that 91.73 percent of government hospitals and 97.58 percent of private hospitals in Nigeria have attended to individuals suffering from abortion complications on a yearly basis (National Population Commission Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2014). Enquiries have shown that abortion is done for several reasons. The most common and obvious reason of all the considerations is that abortion as a last resort to unwanted pregnancy. For female undergraduates and secondary school students, a pregnancy is principally unwanted because of the fear and shame of interruption in education, fear of parents’ rejection, and the stigma associated with bringing up a child born out of wedlock, as well as the fact that a pregnant female may be ignorant of the person responsible for the pregnancy. Abortion is observed to be done at any stage of pregnancy. Most people execute it at the first trimester, others at the second trimester and a few even at the last trimester despite the dangers that may result from such acts. A large number of undergraduates, who seek abortion, carry it out personally at home, taking self-prescribed drugs and herbs. Some carry out abortion personally by self-administration of drugs that they have seen from the social media online as the Revolutionary Information Age has made possible (Kpolovie & Lale, 2017; Kpolovie & Onoshagbegbe, 2017). Some get it done with drugs or herbs administered by unprofessional doctors, nurses, midwives pharmacist as well as traditional birth attendants/herbalists. However, a few get it done secretly in private hospitals and clinics by professional doctors and nurses. Abortion, though widely practiced in the Nigerian society, has long-term attendant consequences that include physical health problem, psychological and social problems that are dangerous and destructive, sometimes culminating in death. Anastasi and Urbina (2010:418) defined attitude as a "tendency to react favourably or unfavourably towards a designated class of stimuli, such as national or ethnic group, a custom or an institution.’’ This means that attitude is a positive or negative inclination towards a specific thing, group of persons or a practice as posited by Kpolovie, Joe and Okoto (2014) and Kpolovie and Awusaku (2016). This implies that attitude is a feeling that propels and is expressed in an action. In a similar vein, Hawkins, Best and Coney (2012) defined attitude as "learned predisposition to respond in a consistently favorable or unfavorable manner with respect to a given object". This means that the attitude is not only an effective tendency, but it is also behavioral, both of which are influenced by one’s perception or beliefs. Attitude therefore as seen by the current researchers is a typical behavioral pattern or response to stimuli or social object that is influenced by one’s feelings, beliefs, and sense of judgment. This implies that people’s attitudes are evident in their response to something, just as attitude of undergraduate students towards abortion is examined in this study. In this study, a student’s attitude is considered positive if he/she favors /accepts or encourages abortion, and is considered negative if a student disapprovals or discourages abortion. Abortion is an important topic of discussion, particularly in regards to reproductive health and family productivity. According to Shiers(2010), abortion is “the termination of pregnancy before 24weeks of gestation”. In other words, abortion is the act of bringing a pregnancy to an end before the sixth month. The World Health Organization (2011; 2010) defined abortion as “the termination of pregnancy before the embryo/fetus attains the age of viability”. In defining the age of viability, Okoye(2009) explained that in Nigeria and many other countries, the age of viability is accepted to be 28weeks of gestation, which is the 7th month of pregnancy. This connotes any removal of fetus from the uterus at the 7th month of pregnancy or after that can be considered as birth rather than abortion. In consonance with the view of Ramalingan (2009) abortion is the ‘premature termination of pregnancy, and from the seventh month, a fetus could be considered as matured. Therefore, this is a comparative study of the attitude of undergraduates in Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State and Nnamdi Azikiwe university, Awka Anambra state towards abortion: an implication for counseling
As a worldwide issue, abortion has been a serious concern of the government of every nation, religious group, and some non-governmental organizations. Although several developed nations like the United States of America and the United Kingdom have legalized abortion (Alamieyeseigha & Kpolovie, 2013), yet many countries such as Nigeria has not legalized it and so it is prohibited and regarded as a criminal/illegal offence except for remarkably few life-saving situations where the life of a pregnant woman is in danger. In countries where abortion is considered a criminal act, a lot of anti-abortion campaigns are regularly carried out to enlighten the public, mainly the female folk on the dangers and consequences of abortion as a way to discourage its practice. Various international bodies, women health advocates, government and non-governmental bodies, including religious groups engage seriously in fight against abortion in Nigeria. These campaigns are done via seminars, health talks/programs, school clubs and jingles in radio and television, publications in newspapers and magazines, as well as national and international conferences among others. Despite these anti-abortion campaigns, the researchers have observed that abortion is still very rampant in the country, particularly among undergraduate students. Hence the study is a comparative study of the attitude of undergraduates in Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Anambra state towards abortion: an implication for counseling
The major aim of the study is to examine comparative study of the attitude of undergraduates in Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Anambra state towards abortion: an implication for counseling. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant relationship between the attitude of undergraduate students and abortion in Niger Delta University and Nnamdi Azikiwe University.
H1: There is a significant relationship between the attitude of undergraduate students and abortion in Niger Delta University and Nnamdi Azikiwe University.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The data elicited in this study could be used by universities to evaluate the established sex - education programmes, and students’ utilization of those services. Working against safety caution in sexual matters is the fact that, students view sexual expression as an important element of becoming an adult. This is a fact that young people hold dearly. At times they do not perceive the problems associated with sexual involvement The University Council and Senate should be encouraged to support the development of relevant curricular and support materials on abortion. Hence, this study will contribute to the study materials that could be infused and integrated into the syllabus of all academic disciplines. This study would also be of immense benefit to students and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to comparative study of the attitude of undergraduates in Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Anambra state towards abortion: an implication for counseling.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Abortion: to remove from the womb a fetus before it is capable of independent existence.
Counseling: As defined by Tyler (1969) is a two-way collaborative exchange It is the application of personal resources of the school or other institutions to the solutions of the problems of individuals Counseling is supportive relationship that enables clients to explore their problems freely and so take the appropriate action.
Attitude: Harrys Triandis (1971) has defined an attitude as a psychologicaltendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favour and disfavour towards an attitude object
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