Restrictions on Caesarean are no ban, minister says

Restrictions on Caesarean are no ban, minister says

Health Minister Recep Akdağ suggested yesterday that new restrictions on Caesarean sections should not be perceived as a ban, while indicating that Caesarean sections will be allowed “in cases of medical emergency.”

“If a woman has a fear of [natural] birth, it will be considered a medical emergency and she will be able to have a Caesarean section,” Akdağ said in an interview with private news channel CNNTürk, shortly after Parliament passed legislation to keep doctors from performing unnecessary Caesarean births. The government had claimed some doctors were seeking to earn more money by pushing women into unnecessary surgery with potentially serious consequences.

The amendment allows Caesarean sections “in case of medical emergency,” and needs presidential approval to become law.

Some doctors are presenting Caesarean sections as an alternative to natural birth although it’s not necessary, Akdağ said. “If there’s a necessity for a Caesarean section, and it will save lives, we are not against it. We are simply against unnecessary [Caesarean] sections.” During the parliamentary debate on the issue yesterday, Aytuğ Atıcı said that in May, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had spoken out against Caesarean section births and likened abortion to “murder.”

“When such a word comes out of the prime minister’s mouth, then necessarily a law comes along. How can the decision on whether Caesarean section is necessary be made by Parliament, but not by doctors?” Atıcı asked.