Hindering access to abortion is rights violation against rape survivor: Turkey's top court

Turkey's Constitutional Court (AYM) ruled that a woman's right to protection was violated when courts dragged on an abortion proceeding, resulting in the woman having to give birth. The woman had been petitioning to terminate a pregnancy that resulted from a sexual assault she survived as a minor.

Duvar English

Turkey's Constitutional Court (AYM) ruled that a woman's rights were violated when she was denied an abortion for a pregnancy that was the result of sexual assault, granting her 100,000 Turkish Liras in damages, the Official Gazette reported on Sept. 10.

The AYM said the woman's "right to protection and development of physical and emotional entity" was violated, as the legal aspect of her petition for an abortion was dragged on until it was too late in the pregnancy.

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"A decision that should have been made as soon as possible was not ruled on for two months during which time was of critical importance. The courts made the defendant unable to access abortion, increasing her burden," the AYM said.

The woman petitioned the local judgeship in 2017, following a sexual assault she survived, as a minor, that resulted in a pregnancy.

The judgeship referred the woman to the local prosecutor's office, who sent back an investigation that the judgeship dismissed the case on procedural grounds.

The woman proceeded to petition the judgeship for an official medical examination that would report that delivery could endanger both the mother and the baby considering her age, which she said was grounds for termination of the pregnancy.

The judgeship ordered a forensic report that said termination of the pregnancy would be the best medical route to take for both the mother and the baby.

The prosecutor's office petitioned the judgeship with the medical report, but the judge rejected the case again on the grounds that the medical report wasn't detailed enough.

Denying the woman's appeal to the dismissal, the judgeship sent the case to a criminal court, who then sent it back to them.

Finally, the judgeship stood by their ruling that the case was out of their jurisdiction.

The AYM protested the local courts, noting that they were "simply unable to rule" on the case.

Turkey's top court orders state to pay 100,000 liras over denial of abortion to rape victimTurkey's top court orders state to pay 100,000 liras over denial of abortion to rape victim