Published On: Mon, Jun 11th, 2012

Majority of Turks oppose ban on abortion

Turkish women hold placards and chant slogans as they protest against the government’s plan to reduce the time limit for abortions, on June 8, 2012, in Istanbul.

A majority of Turks oppose a ban on abortion as the Islamist-rooted government moves to try and limit the practice, according to a survey published Monday.

A total of 55.5 percent said they opposed a ban, while the remaining 44.5 percent were for it, according to the Konsensus research centre poll conducted among 1,500 people between May 24 and June 6, Habertürk daily reported.

The survey is the first to sound out Turks on planned amendments to abortion laws since Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s controversial comparison of abortion to “murder.”  The ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Part (AKP) plans to revise abortion laws to outlaw the procedure after four weeks of pregnancy.

The current limit is 10 weeks. Experts say the time limitation will almost equal banning abortions, since most women do not realize they are pregnant within the first month. Erdoğan has frequently called for women to have at least three children, and his party intended to criminalize adultery in 2004 but bounced back under pressure from the European Union.

The deputy secretary general of the Council of Europe Maud de Boer-Buquicchio said she raised the issue with members of the Turkish government, and opposed “oppressive measures” against Turkish women, reported the daily Hurriyet. Banning abortion will only pave the way for illegal operations “for those who have the money,” she said


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