Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has provoked a firestorm of criticism by saying: “I see abortion as murder.”
“What’s the difference between killing a baby inside a mother’s womb and killing a baby after birth?” Erdogan asked rhetorically during a talk to women’s groups. He said that support for abortion should be seen as “a sneaky plan to wipe the country off the world stage.”
Abortion is legal in Turkey through the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. The abortion issue has not been a major factor in political debates, so Erdogan’s comments came as a surprise, and drew angry criticisms from opposition groups.
Erdogan has encouraged the people of Turkey to maintain the country’s high birth rate, arguing that population growth helps to strengthen the country both economically and socially. He has called for a “3-child policy” that would urged families to have at least 3 children.