Scott’s Prometheus showed me
just how dangerous Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent
war against abortion and caesarean births are for humanity.
the movie, Swedish actress Noomi Rapace’s (of Millennium Trilogy fame)
character uses an automated surgery table to extract an alien from her uterus. The economist with the eagle tattoo
thinks that the girl with the
dragon tattoo is really lucky.
Turkey finally managed to export
high-tech products, to the extent that her spaceship Prometheus was manufactured
in Turkey, such a procedure would not be available on the ship. But then again,
as Health Minister Recep Akdağ has remarked,
the state would take care of unwanted babies, even aliens.
are several important themes here. For one thing, it is useful to differentiate
between caesareans and abortion. While I am no medical expert, it seems
that the rate of caesareans, which may cause difficulty in subsequent
pregnancies, is higher in Turkey than in developed countries.
wonder then that Erdoğan emphasized that caesareans and abortion are “covert
plans to erase our nation from the world stage”. And I wasn’t surprised when he hinted of a
“Jewish hand” behind this sinister plot. After all, the Jewish lobby has been trying
hard to raise Turkish interest rates. I am now waiting for the
pro-government dailies to
“expose” the Jewish owners of the private hospitals that undertake most caesareans.
Istabul think-tank Betam shows, in a recent reserach
note, that public support for abortion has waned in the last two decades, so
you may argue Erdoğan
is playing to the masses. Besides, the war against abortion and caesareans is
the latest in a
string of ultra-conservative policies implemented,
or at least attempted,
by the government.
but not the least, banning abortion would lead women to illegal clinics. If you
are wondering what sort of an experience that would be, I would recommend the
Romanian movie 4 Months, 3 Weeks
and 2 Days. According to the Turkish
Medical Association (TTB), the legalization of abortion in 1983 caused
women’s deaths during pregnancy to decrease by tenfold.
the most tragic part of all this debate is that no one other than the TTB has
tried to support their arguments with data. For example, I would have expected one
of the country’s economists to use the current debate as an opportunity to
replicate the famous
Donohue-Levitt paper, where the authors “offer evidence that legalized
abortion in the United States has contributed significantly to recent crime
idea is that unwanted children are more likely to be left unattended and
consequently resort to crime. Donohue and Levitt show that “crime began to fall
roughly 18 years after abortion legalization”. Looking at18 years after 1983 is
problematic in Turkey because it corresponds to the 2001 crisis, when you’d
expect crime rates to increase. So I thought I could analyze the difference in
number of crimes committed by those born right before and after abortion was
the Turkish Statistical Institute’s crime statistics
were down on Friday. As we Turks say, fish rots from the head down. Or shit
rolls downhill, as Shakespeare would say.