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Sacred RightsThe Case for Contraception and Abortion in World Religions$
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Daniel C. Maguire

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195160017

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195160017.001.0001

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Family Planning and Abortion

Family Planning and Abortion

Cultural Norms Versus Actual Practices in Nigeria

(p.167) 7 Family Planning and Abortion
Sacred Rights


Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the attitudes of specific ethnic groups in Nigeria and Africa toward fertility, family size, and abortion. It examines some of the sayings, proverbs, and societal practices to aid our understanding of the general cultural beliefs about what constitutes appropriate family size and actual practices extant in the country. The main focus of this chapter is the cultural tradition of the Yoruba community and the sociocultural factors that influence their ideal of a large family size. One of these factors is the insurance strategy. This is the practice of having more than the desired number of children because of the fear of infant and child mortality, and to ensure survivorship of the sons to continue lineage.

Keywords:   Nigeria, Africa, fertility, family size, infant mortality, societal practices, Yoruba, insurance strategy

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