Turkish PM Erdoğan vows to pass new abortion law

Turkish PM Erdoğan vows to pass new abortion law

ANKARA – Anatolia News Agency
Turkish PM Erdoğan vows to pass new abortion law

Recep Akdağ. DHA photo

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has delivered instructions to the Cabinet to begin drafting new legislation on abortion in the wake of his recent comments equating the practice with murder.

“I have already told my minister. We are preparing the law on abortion, and we are going to pass it,” he said yesterday. “There are similar laws that have been passed in many societies in the West in the same vein. Now that is what we are working on, too. This has a place among our values, for one. This cannot be permitted. May God forbid, things such as threat of death are a different matter.”

Health Minister Recep Akdağ also told journalists outside Parliament yesterday that the ongoing debate in the media over abortion concerning women’s rights ignored the fact that babies also had rights.

“Both Caesarean [section] and abortion are methods that ought never to be resorted to unless medical necessities are in question. I look at some of the debates in the press today; they all talk about women’s rights. Babies also have rights, however. Of course, women have and are entitled to certain rights over their own bodies, but we are talking about a living being,” Akdağ said.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is preparing a report that will be debated later, he said.

Legal matters
Responding to a journalist’s question, Akdağ said they were also going to debate the 10-week criterion, the length of time after conception that abortion is legal in Turkey.

“It is not like I will determine by myself [what will go into] the report. We are going to take it to the Cabinet,” the minister said.

Akdağ added that abortion did not constitute a method of family planning. “When we speak of abortion, we are talking about scratching away a living being from a mother’s womb and cutting off its organs and body,” he said.