Reproductive citizenship in Turkey: Abortion chronicles

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Unal D., Cindoglu D.

WOMENS STUDIES INTERNATIONAL FORUM, vol.38, pp.21-31, 2013 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.wsif.2013.02.005
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.21-31
  • Abdullah Gül University Affiliated: No


This paper discusses the gendered nature of reproductive citizenship in contemporary Turkey through reading the abortion chronicles and exposes the utilization of women's bodies and subjection of women to demographic state policies. To this end, we focus on recent abortion debates originating from Prime Minister Erdogan's statement on May 25, 2012 that suggested that "every abortion is a murder". Our paper is a qualitative analysis of the arguments of the members of the parliament following PM's statement on abortion. We documented and contextualized the recurrent themes; (1) abortion as a rhetorical tool, (2) trivialization of abortion, (3) medicalization of abortion, (4) abortion in the cases of rape, (5) abortion as an economic imperative. As a result, we unravel the gendered discursive limits of "pro-abortion" arguments in Turkey and reveal the frameworks within which the political debates are shaped when women's bodies, sexualities and reproductive capacities are at stake. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.