Turkey has passed a new law that makes it a criminal offense for Turkish women who go abroad to get pregnant via artificial insemination.
In Turkey, it is illegal for women to get pregnant through artificial insemination.. But some Turkish women skirts the law by going abroad to seek sperm donors. Now the government has made it even more difficult for women to have a child by making it a criminal offense for any Turkish woman who goes abroad to get pregnant via artificial insemination.
The crime is punishable by one to three years in prison. Doctors and lawyers say they are trying to find out how the government plans to enforce the law. A spokesman at the Department of Health, Irfan Sencan, said the regulation was covered by article 231 of the criminal code, which makes it a crime to conceal the paternity of a child.
The new regulation immediately drew varied reactions and opposition from women groups and medical practitioners. But Pinar Ilkkaracan, a prominent women's rights campaigner in Turkey, said it would be a misinterpretation of a law intended to protect the inheritance rights of children.
"This is completely against the philosophy of the reformed penal code," she told the BBC.
"We spent years fighting to improve the law so that it would properly protect women's autonomy over their bodies and sexuality.
"This government has slipped this regulation in without any debate in parliament."
Dr. Ismail Mete Itel who represents the association of gynecologists said, "It is a huge step backwards,""The law should be reformed to take into account the new choices technology offers women - they have done the opposite. They have not thought through the implications of this."
(original article appeared @ Digital Journal )