Turkish Women Defend Abortion RightsJune 4, 2012 No Comments
The current Turkish government is threatening women’s right to abortions. On Saturday at a rally in southern Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called abortion murder, saying that women had no right to abort a fetus in their uterus. The next day, thousands of demonstrators protested in the capital city of Ankara.
There were also protests in Istanbul, where 3000 women of all ages carried signs declaring their right to control their bodies and chanting anti-government slogans. The women were not alone. Many men, including husbands and boyfriends, marched in step with the women, supporting their partner’s reproductive rights.
Since 1983, Turkey has allowed abortions up to 10 weeks. Erdogan and his Islamic-based government would like to restrict access to four weeks after conception and only allow for emergency abortions. Most women don’t find out they are pregnant until after that deadline; this archaic law would only push women to have backstreet abortions and raise women’s mortality rate in Turkey.
Erdogan also reportedly believes that women should have at least three children to boost birth rates. Ethnic Turkish couples are choosing to have fewer children, unlike the Kurdish community in the southeast, who happen to be fighting for independence. Women’s bodies are once again the battleground for political ideologies.
The government has even stated that they will care for the unwanted children of rape victims. This is the worst statement I think I have ever heard a government official say. I can’t begin to imagine the destructive emotional effect on a woman who is forced by the government to carry her rapist’s seed to term. It’s sick.
Hopefully Erdogan and his government give up passing this bullshit law or are thrown out of office. Women’s rights are human rights, and should be defended by the government, not threatened.
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