Proposals to ban abortion in Turkey provoke protests

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e4030 (Published 11 June 2012)
Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e4030

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Dear Editors,

4 day packages in Crimea, Bosnia, Cyprus and the UK, costing from 299 euros to 1200 pounds, abortion costs included, are already offered to women in Turkey. [1][2][3][4][5]

State officials in Turkey must understand that penalizing abortions will simply force women to have them abroad.

They will just be risking women’s lives and future fertility unnecessarily.

References

[1] http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/culture/2012/08/299-euros-abortion-inclu...

[2] http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/turkish-agencies-offer-touristic...

[3] http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?newsId=288300

[4] http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ministry-cancels-license-of-abortion-to...

[5] http://www.habermonitor.com/en/haber/detay/this-tour-of-3-nights-and-4-d...

Competing interests: Dr Stavros Saripanidis is an active voluntary member of a non-profit organization that fights for women's rights.

Stavros Saripanidis, Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Private Surgery, Thessaloniki, Greece

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Dear Editors,

Limiting legal abortions to 6 weeks drastically limits the number of women that will have enough time to suspect pregnancy, have a positive pregnancy test, visit hospital and plan their abortion.

Many claim this is the first step towards completely banning abortions in Turkey. [2]

This is not all, though.

Declaring that “abortion is murder and cannot be allowed” signifies criminalization of abortions and incarcerations of Gynaecologists who perform them. [2][3][4][5][6][7]

The Ministry of Health is keeping records of every pregnancy test performed in every medical laboratory in Turkey. Then, it notifies local GPs, family members, and the husband. [7]

It tracks women who test positive for pregnancy but do not give birth, who may face penalties in the future. [7]

Furthermore, since caesarean sections limit the total number of babies a woman can have and are considered unnatural in Turkey, steps against performing caesarean sections are going to be taken. [1][3][6][7]

References

[1] http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=52966

[2] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-29/turkey-may-ban-abortion-as-erdo...

[3] http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hwS637i_f8-LfhGlIpn7Mj...

[4] http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/06/in-turkey-abortion-law-...

[5] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/03/turkey-abortion-law-women-prote...

[6] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/29/turkey-abortion-law-c-sections_...

[7] http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?newsId=283989

Competing interests: None declared

Stavros Saripanidis, Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Private Surgery, Thessaloniki, Greece

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