Socialist Worker

Turkey: Protests for right to abortion

by Meltem Oral, Istanbul
Issue No. 2306

“I consider abortion to be murder.”

So declared Turkey’s prime minister Racep Tayyip Erdogan last week. Within days the minister of health announced plans to cut the time limit for legal abortion from ten weeks to just four.

This would effectively make abortions illegal.

One minister said women who are raped should give birth as “the state can look after the children”.

Another claimed that women should commit suicide after giving birth to an unwanted child rather than have an abortion.

There were protests in several cities immediately after Erdogan spoke. An internet petition had 7,000 signatures on it within a day.

Erdogan declared that, “Every abortion is an Uludere”.

Uludere is the Kurdish village where Turkish fighter jets killed 34 innocent Kurds “by mistake” last December. The slogan “Abortion is a right, Uludere a massacre” has caught on like wildfire.

The government says it will bring a new abortion law to parliament later this month.

The No to Banning Abortion campaign has promised to hold a mass demonstration if that happens.

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Tue 5 Jun 2012, 17:15 BST
Issue No. 2306
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