Nigerian military secretly forced at least 10 000 abortions on women, says report

A baby sleeps on his mother’s back as women queue to cast their votes in northern Nigeria in 2019. A surge of violence targeting Nigeria’s election commission offices and extremist attacks in remote communities are already raising concerns about the upcoming February elections. (PHOTO: Faithwire)

Originally published in Faithwire

The US State Department is imploring the Nigerian government to investigate yet another horrific allegation: that thousands of women who were raped by radical militants and terrorists have been forced by the Nigerian military to have abortions.

These terminations were reportedly done on girls as young as 12 and whose pregnancies ranged from a few weeks to as far along as eight months. The abortions were purportedly mostly carried out without their consent, with women allegedly being held by the military for days or weeks.

The disturbing allegations, first detailed in a Reuters report earlier this month, are said to be part of Nigeria’s secret battle to push back against Islamic extremism.

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Some women reported being given abortion-inducing pills and shots under the pretense of helping their health, while others were allegedly beaten, drugged, or threatened at gunpoint during their abortions.

The allegations sparked a response from the State Department in which officials expressed being “deeply troubled” by the claim, a quest to discern more details, and a purported push for Nigeria to form an independent inquiry into the matter, according to The Christian Post.

“We have raised the allegations with the government of Nigeria and continue to seek information,” a statement to the Post read. “We were not aware of this allegation prior to the Reuters story.”

Officials are exploring the report and weighing their next steps, with a human rights commission in Nigeria announcing it will look into the claims.

“We have encouraged the government of Nigeria to take the allegations seriously and to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation, and we will continue to do so,” the spokesperson added.

Reuters’ investigative report earlier this month proclaimed the “Nigerian military ran a secret mass abortion program in [the] war against Boko Haram.”

Boko Haram is an Islamic terrorist group active in Nigeria and several other west African nations.

“Since at least 2013, the Nigerian military has conducted a secret, systematic and illegal abortion program in the country’s northeast, ending at least 10,000 pregnancies among women and girls,” the article reads. “Many had been kidnapped and raped by Islamist militants.”

The forced abortion campaign, which Nigerian officials have denied, is said to have been created to help women avoid the stigma of having children with Islamist fighters. Beyond that, though, the agenda was reportedly based on the notion these unborn babies would grow up to become insurgents, eventually revolting against the Nigerian government.

The abortions purportedly sought to prevent such an evolution.

Thirty-three women told Reuters about their horrific experiences. Bintu Ibrahim, now in her 20s, was captured by insurgents and purportedly later forced to undergo an abortion. She said she would have kept her child if given the chance.

“If they had left me with the baby, I would have wanted it,” Ibrahim said.

Another woman named Fati, who was around four months pregnant at the time of her forced abortion, described the horrific conditions of the location where she was given pills and injections without knowing the purpose of the drugs.

“If you share this with anyone, you will be seriously beaten,” she said she was told after the abortion.

Read the full details of the horrific story here.

As CBN’s Faithwire has extensively reported, Islamic extremism continues to rage in Nigeria, with radicals waging war against Christians and inflicting deadly and horrific persecution in the nation’s northern region.

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