The Marie Stopes International Organization of Nigeria, MSION, has insisted that no religion stops women from using contraceptives and family planning methods.

MSION, a non-governmental organization, stated that family planning should be seen as a life-saving measure and not religious or cultural crime.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja, the organization’s country Director, Mr. Effiom Nyong Effiom urged women to space their children for the sake of their health.

Effiom lamented that about 22 per cent of women of reproductive age lack access to contraceptives, despite their readiness to engage in family planning and child spacing.

He said: “I could give you a percentile. We found out that about 22 percent of women of reproductive age, as the last Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey NDHS shows, desire for a contraceptive method but they are not getting it. So, it is a significant number when you look at that and it means we are failing these women.

“Women must phase their children so that they can recover, be strong and healthy to even contribute to their families. In a case where that spacing is not happening, we are endangering the woman and the family as a whole, because women are the bedrocks of the family. A healthy mother will take care of her family better.

“We dream of a world where every birth is wanted. We want people to have children because they want to and not because it just happened and we are providing methods that help them do this because we want families to be healthy.

“If your religion quarrels about it – we do not know of any religion that quarrels over it. There is family planning in Afghanistan. Ireland with its largely Catholic faith has made changes. London has also made changes. I do not think it is about religion. It is more of education and information.

“At the end of 2015, only one in eight women of reproductive age was using any form of modern contraception. Not only is contraceptive use low in the country, but choice of contraceptives is also limited”

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