No step-back on abortion regulation plans: deputy
Groups of women have recently gathered in front of the Health Ministry building in Ankara to protest a government plan to put restrictions on abortion. AA photo
The government has not taken any step back on plans for introducing new legal regulations on abortion, Zeynep Karahan Uslu, a deputy of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said yesterday.
Uslu’s was reacting to Mikael Gustafsson, the chair of European Parliament’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee, after the latter expressed pleasure that Turkey had backed down on the issue of abortion, Anatolia news agency has reported.
A step back by Turkey is out of question, Uslu said, adding that a new regulation would be prepared after review of global practices and the latest medical developments.
Abortions and Caesarean section births have increased “in a horrifying way,” Uslu said, adding: “There is neither a step back nor a study for enacting a full ban on abortion.”
Gustafsson said he had been informed that there were plans to shorten the length of time after conception that abortion is legal in Turkey from 10-weeks to four weeks. Although this information may not be accurate, Gustafsson warned that the European Commission’s reaction would be harsh if steps were taken to change the criterion to four weeks.
Earlier this month, Turkey’s Parliament passed legislation to prevent doctors from performing unnecessary Caesarean section births after the government claimed some doctors were seeking to earn more money by pushing women into unnecessary surgery with potentially serious consequences.
In May, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke out against Caesarean section births and likened abortion to “murder” , despite an outcry from critics who say their plan amounts to a virtual ban.
Meanwhile, new restrictions on Caesarean sections went into effect after being published in the Official Gazette yesterday.
According to the new regulation, C-section will be allowed only in the event of “medical obligations.”Doctors will not be held responsible if an undesired result occurs if they take due precautions before surgery, the regulations read.