After a report highlighted allegations of forced abortions in Nigeria, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement calling for an investigation into the matter.
“The Secretary-General takes note with concern of the allegations of systemic and coerced abortions reportedly perpetrated by the Nigerian Army against women and girls who had already been victimized by Boko Haram,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in response to a Reuters report.
UN Secretary-General calls for investigation on Nigeria forced abortions report https://t.co/QyhDPmHn5S pic.twitter.com/wkcSHWZ1Wa
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 9, 2022
Dujarric promised “immediate remedial actions and accountability measures,” should the allegations prove to be true, according to Reuters.
The Nigerian military has allegedly been conducting a “secret, systematic and illegal” program since 2013, in which women raped by Islamist militants were forced to abort their babies if they got pregnant, Reuters reported Wednesday. The report stated that at least 10,000 unborn children had been killed through the program. Women who wouldn’t comply with a forced abortion were often beaten, threatened, or drugged into submission, according to the report.
Of the 33 women interviewed by Reuters, only one willingly complied with the abortion. Among the women and girls who were allegedly raped and pregnant, the youngest was 12 years old, Reuters found. (RELATED: California Considers Funding Abortion Tourism As Part Of Plan To Become ‘Sanctuary’ If Roe Is Overturned)
A spokesperson for the State Department has also acknowledged the report, saying that the Biden administration was “deeply troubled” and would be “seeking further information.”
“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 said, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff Lucky Irabor has denied the accusations, dismissing them as “spurious allegations” and said he wasn’t going to “waste [his] energy on such things,” according to the Premium Times.