Abortion banned in Turkish state hospitals, health group claims

Abortion banned in Turkish state hospitals, health group claims

The Turkish Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology claimed state hospitals have effectively abolished abortion operations, delivered through a written statement on March 11.

The group’s chairperson Professor Cansun Demir said abortion was silently removed from online appointment systems, making the operations “automatically impossible.”

“Although it is supposed to be carried out freely for up to 10 weeks, abortion has been removed from the system without any legal basis,” the statement read. “The code for abortion on the online appointment system has been removed and all of the services and controls on abortion were automatically stopped.”

Demir said the situation was making it impossible for doctors to treat patients and was depriving people of their basic rights and freedoms. 

Turkey’s Health Ministry, however, rejected the body’s claims.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said abortion operations up to 10 weeks of pregnancy were carried out in state hospitals and birth control methods were applied free of charge. However, the Ministry did not address the body’s criticism that abortion was removed from the online system.

A ban on abortion came onto the agenda in 2012, when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he considered abortion “murder.”

“I am a prime minister who is against Caesarean births. I consider abortion murder,” Erdoğan was quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency.

After Erdoğan’s remarks, Turkish Parliament passed a bill limiting the abortions to 10 weeks, requiring sentences on women who underwent “medically unnecessary abortions” after the 10th week of pregnancy.