Press release: Turkey bans medicines used for safe abortion from pharmacy in move to further restrict access.

Press release 16-07-2012:

Turkey bans medicines used for safe abortion from pharmacy in move to further restrict access.

While preparing to make abortion illegal, Turkey has just banned Misoprostol from sales in pharmacies, a medicine that women can use themselves to induce a safe abortion[1].

In Turkey, abortion has been legal up to 10 weeks of pregnancy since 1983. In late May, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) publicly declared abortion murder. Since that time, the Turkish government has been preparing a law to ban abortion by restricting it to only four weeks of pregnancy[2], a time at which many women do not even know that they may be pregnant. In different cities across the country, thousands of Turkish women have mobilized and have publicly protested.

Until now, Misoprostol was easily available in pharmacies under the brand name Arthrotec. On its website, Women on Waves displays information that explains how to do a safe abortion with Misoprostol pills  in Turkish.

By restricting the availability of Misoprostol, women will not even be able to induce safe abortions themselves after abortion has been banned.

According to the World Health Organization, Misoprostol is a medication that can be used to safely induce an abortion up to nine weeks of pregnancy[3]. This medicine is on the WHO’s List of Essential Medicines[4], because of its indications for obstetrics and gynecology. While Misoprostol can be used to induce a miscarriage, it can also be used for the treatment and prevention of post-partum hemorrhaging. Post-partum hemorrhaging, excessive bleeding after giving birth, contributes to 25% of maternal mortality worldwide.

Women on Waves is an international non-governmental organization committed to providing safe abortion and reproductive health services worldwide.


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Ban Misoprostol Turkey