Bringing choice to rural Nigeria 

“If you hadn’t have come, we couldn’t have gotten access to these contraceptives. I feel good about my body. I am happy.”

The recent ruling overturning Roe v. Wade reminds us all just how crucial choice is. The fall of Roe will limit safe abortions in states nationwide. But the impact will reach further, limiting women’s access to reproductive health around the world by emboldening the global anti-choice movement.

Straight-on shot of Naomi smiling wearing a tie-dye "Drew" shirt with a smiley face.
Naomi Ishaku, 19, poses for a photograph in front of her home in Taraba State, Nigeria

Naomi, a 19-year-old mother of three in rural Nigeria, knows what it feels like when choice is out of reach. She hoped for her children to get an education so they can pursue their own futures. But she didn’t know how to prevent another pregnancy. She had little information about contraceptives—and no doctor or pharmacy nearby providing them. Without the ability to space her pregnancy, she worried about her children’s futures. 

“I want to have a break from having children,” Naomi shared with us, “I want my kids to grow bigger, so they can go to school.”

Without access to contraceptives, Naomi was unable to take control of her own reproduction, even though she very much wanted to avoid another pregnancy. Naomi isn’t alone. Around the world, there are 214 million women who want to avoid pregnancy but lack access to contraception. 

MSI’s outreach teams travel by car, motorcycle, boat and even on foot to reach villages like Naomi’s, where women have few other options. A team in Nigeria provided the first opportunity for the women in Naomi’s village to learn about reproductive health and to access services. After discussing her options with the MSI team, Naomi chose a 5-year contraceptive implant. Naomi now has the confidence of knowing she won’t face another unintended pregnancy.  

Getting women access to necessary reproductive services is already difficult. With the overturning of Roe it will only get harder. Countries around the world look to the United States as an example. When choice is rolled back here, it influences policy worldwide. 

You can help reduce the devastating impact of the fall of Roe. Whether by protesting, sharing content, or donating, remember you aren’t just fighting for women here, you’re also helping women globally. Naomi and millions of women like her thank you.    

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