Restriction on access to abortion is human rights violation: Top court
A 17-year-old young woman got pregnant as a result of sexual assault in 2017 and the survivor’s family complained about the perpetrator in the southern province of Mersin, according to the Constitutional Court’s decision.
The family also demanded the termination of the unwanted pregnancy.
However, no abortion decision was issued after the application went back and forth between the local prosecutor’s office, the criminal court and the appeal authorities.
The young woman had to give birth to her baby as the legal 20-week abortion period had passed due to the application being protracted between legal authorities.
The survivor applied to the Constitutional Court in 2017.
The court noted that the applicant’s “right to protection and development of physical and emotional entity” guaranteed in Article 17 of the constitution was violated, as the legal aspect of her petition for an abortion was dragged on until it was too late in the pregnancy.
“Women’s demand to terminate an unwanted pregnancy is directly related to their personal autonomy and their emotional or physical integrity. The legislator has enabled pregnancies as a result of a crime to be terminated with permission for not more than 20 weeks,” it said in the decision.
The top court protested the local courts, noting that they were “simply unable to rule” on the case, granting the survivor 100,000 liras ($13,400) in damages.
Abortion in Turkey is legal until the 10th week after conception and it can be extended if there is an endangerment to the woman’s life or the life of the fetus.
If the woman is under the age of 18, then parental consent is required.