Turkish law will make legal abortion impossible, say campaigners
A new law expected to be presented to the Turkish cabinet in the next few days will make it impossible for women in the country to gain access to legal abortions, health professionals and human rights activists have warned.
The government has promised that the new draft bill on reproductive health and child abuse will not touch the legal limit for terminations, which is currently 10 weeks. But while an outright ban seems unlikely, women's rights activists say the legislation will make abortions impossible in all but a few cases.
Under the draft law, abortions will only be permitted if carried out by obstetricians in hospitals, according to reports in the Turkish media. Currently the procedure is also offered by certified practitioners and local health clinics. The new law also introduces the right for doctors to refuse performing an abortion on the grounds of their conscience, and a mandatory "consideration time" for women requesting a termination.
"This will dramatically limit availability, especially to women in rural areas and women with few economic resources," said Selin Dagistanli of the campaign group Abortion Is a Right.