Abortion seekers to be ‘convinced’

Abortion seekers to be ‘convinced’

Abortion seekers to be ‘convinced’

Women rally in Istanbul to protest abortion ban plans. The banner reads ‘Abortion is a right, the decision is women’s.’ DHA Photo

Women who opt to have an abortion will first be forced to listen to the fetal heartbeat and watch video on the abortion procedure before they can finalize their decision, according to a joint legal draft prepared by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Family and Social policies.

Following Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s “abortion is murder” statements, the Ministry of Health collaborated with the Ministry of Family and Social Policies on a legal draft regarding abortion regulations. According to the new draft, pregnant women who decide to get an abortion will first have to listen to the fetal heartbeat before finalizing their decision, daily Yeni Şafak reported yesterday. The daily’s report says the commission preparing the draft’s framework examined the abortion laws of several different countries before deciding to model regulations found in less than half of America’s states, which they believed to be most similar to the Turkish perspective.

The new draft calls for a meeting between the mother and her doctor where the doctor will explain the possible harmful effects of abortion and show videos detailing how an abortion is done. If the woman decides to proceed with the operation, she will then be made to listen to the fetal heartbeat. This system, called “short term therapy”, is implemented in 19 of the 50 American states and draws parallels between abortion and breast cancer as well as claims abortion causes long-term psychological effects in women.

Maternity leave

The draft also removes common delivery rooms, replacing them with private rooms of high standards. These single rooms will be equipped with the necessary systems to allow women to spend their labor and delivery in their private room.

An additional regulation in the draft extends the duration of maternity leave to six months from the previously allotted four months. However, following concerns that a six month absence would decrease employment of women or alienate mothers from their jobs, the ministries plan to implement a new method. The method includes hiring a temporary employee to replace the mother on maternity leave or for the state to pay part of the mother’s salary and insurance.

Furthermore, legal adjustments regarding Cesarean sections were also made in the draft. If a mother has a serious fear of vaginal delivery a Cesarean section will be compulsory and the surgical procedure will be performed. Accordingly, the ministry will investigate hospitals performing an excess number of Cesarean sections and in the case that an illicit procedure is detected, heavy repercussions will follow.

The ministry will distribute information pamphlets in hospitals and other health institutes to increase public awareness on Cesarean sections.