Translated by Translators For Justice
On June 18, 2013, during the publicity ceremony for the ‘Being a Family’ project sponsored by the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, Prime Minister Erdoğan claimed that murders are all but being committed during abortion and Cesarean sections, and that “women are being sterilized by design through these means and through birth control methods” for any number of years afterwards. As the association representing gynecologists and obstetrics in Turkey, it is critical for us to provide the following scientific explanations of these procedures to ensure the public fully understands:1- Cesarean section can be a life-saving surgical operation for both the mother and the baby that concludes the pregnancy; it is in no ways a method of “sterilization”.
2- The surgical method of sterilization that gynecologists practice is called tubal ligation. This method can only be performed on the patient with her consent and that of her partner.
3- There is no scientific fact behind the thought that a Cesarean section can only be done once. In our country and around the world many women have had a Cesarian section numerous times.
4- If birth control methods are explained and effectively provided to the public, the need for terminating unplanned pregnancies through abortion disappears. Hence, in the last 30 years the abortion rate in our country has decreased three-fold.
5- In countries where use of Cesarian section is limited and abortion is prohibited, a woman dies every eight minutes from complications related to childbirth. In Turkey, with the devoted work of obstetricians and gynecologists, the death rate of mothers during labor has decreased six-fold in the last 30 years.
6- In the last ten years Cesarian section rates has increased in Turkey and around the world. We should note that, in our country, the reason is because of the healthcare policies that have been implemented and the risk of legal problems with the patient.
7- In Turkey, mother and infant mortality has lowered dramatically. The main reason for this success is the world standard health care service provided by our dedicated colleagues around the clock.
8- The presentation of the Turkish doctors in an unfair and insulting manner as “the stooges of an unknown power that sterilizes our patients without their consent” has been a cause for deep sorrow and concern among Turkish obstetricians and gynecologists. Obstetricians and gynecologists have performed procedures such as abortions and Cesarian sections based on both science and the current legislation. To accuse doctors of disregarding the laws is legally and morally unacceptable.
9- As the national association representing obstetrics and gynecology, together with all other sub-specialty associations, we will to continue work tirelessly for the public. We will not be discouraged by the call to serve that made us choose this profession, and the most important reason we choose this profession is OUR HUMANITY AND DESIRE TO HELP PEOPLE. This remains at the core of our beliefs and desires despite the ongoing violence against the doctors.
TURKISH SOCIETY OF OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY
The Society for Gynecological Endoscopy
The Society for Perinatology Specialists
Turkish Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology
Turkish Society of Gynecologic Oncology
Turkish Perinatology Society
Turkish Society of Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery
Turkish Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Perinatology
Reproductive Health and Infertility Association
Reproductive Medicine Association