How Do Pronatalist Policies Impact Women’s Access to Safe Abortion Services in Turkey?

Pınar Telli, Tomris Cesuroğlu, Feride Aksu Tanık

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

A pronatalist discourse and anti-abortion rhetoric used by prominent politicians in Turkey, prior to and following the proposed ban of abortion in 2012, have resulted in reports of women facing difficulty accessing safe abortion services (SAS), risking the resurgence of unsafe abortions. We conducted a qualitative study to identify the impact of the ongoing pronatalist discourse on women’s access to SAS, using semi-structured interviews with 19 experts (16 female, 3 male) in reproductive health, including academics, doctors, midwives, and health authorities. Participants from 4 cities (Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, and Manisa) were identified through a combined snowball and purposive sampling technique. The findings show that the pronatalist discourse has directly and indirectly inhibited access to SAS. Women’s and health professionals’ perception of abortion services has been tainted by rhetoric; provision of SAS in the public sector is slowly ceasing; and health reform-related organizational changes have diminished access to family planning services and contraceptive methods. Provision of SAS in the private sector continues but is only accessible for women with sufficient financial means. Preventing women’s access to SAS risks a rise in unwanted pregnancies and—consequently—in the number of women who may seek dangerous alternatives, including unsafe, life-threatening abortions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Health Services
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Fingerprint

Family Planning Policy
Turkey
Unwanted Pregnancies
Organizational Innovation
Private Sector
Public Sector
Reproductive Health
Health
Family Planning Services
Midwifery
Women's Health
Contraception
Interviews

Keywords

  • access to induced abortion
  • conservatism
  • pronatalist policy
  • Turkey
  • unsafe abortion

Cite this

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title = "How Do Pronatalist Policies Impact Women’s Access to Safe Abortion Services in Turkey?",
abstract = "A pronatalist discourse and anti-abortion rhetoric used by prominent politicians in Turkey, prior to and following the proposed ban of abortion in 2012, have resulted in reports of women facing difficulty accessing safe abortion services (SAS), risking the resurgence of unsafe abortions. We conducted a qualitative study to identify the impact of the ongoing pronatalist discourse on women’s access to SAS, using semi-structured interviews with 19 experts (16 female, 3 male) in reproductive health, including academics, doctors, midwives, and health authorities. Participants from 4 cities (Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, and Manisa) were identified through a combined snowball and purposive sampling technique. The findings show that the pronatalist discourse has directly and indirectly inhibited access to SAS. Women’s and health professionals’ perception of abortion services has been tainted by rhetoric; provision of SAS in the public sector is slowly ceasing; and health reform-related organizational changes have diminished access to family planning services and contraceptive methods. Provision of SAS in the private sector continues but is only accessible for women with sufficient financial means. Preventing women’s access to SAS risks a rise in unwanted pregnancies and—consequently—in the number of women who may seek dangerous alternatives, including unsafe, life-threatening abortions.",
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How Do Pronatalist Policies Impact Women’s Access to Safe Abortion Services in Turkey? / Telli, Pınar; Cesuroğlu, Tomris; Aksu Tanık, Feride.

In: International Journal of Health Services, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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