Claim: Abortion no longer “widely accessible” in Turkey

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Claim: Abortion no longer “widely accessible” in Turkey

2016-10-19 08:04 BST
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Reuters journalist tweets “abortion was widely accessible in Turkey”

The head office of the Social Security Institution

On 17 October 2016, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet released a news story on abortion in Turkey which cited the results of a study that asked hospital employees over the phone whether they perform abortions or not.

Reuters correspondent Ayla Jean Yackley shared the story on her Twitter account with the comment “Abortion was widely accessible in Turkey til 2012 when President Erdogan declared it 'murder.' He also says birth control is 'treason'”.

Although abortion numbers in Turkey were reportedly on the decline in recent years, it is still a widely accessible practice if it is undertaken within 10 weeks since impregnation – the legal time limit for the operation to be carried out.

Turkey implemented a policy in 2014 aimed at easing the conditions in which abortion can be performed. According to this, the abortion fee of a woman who consciously chose to undergo the operation was covered by Turkey’s Social Security Institution (SGK) on condition that the time limit was not exceeded and the person undergoing abortion was insured by the SGK.

Abortions performed in state hospitals were completely covered by the state while private hospitals or training and research hospitals were paid 191 Turkish liras ($62) by the SGK and could ask for additional payment.