International Symposium, Monday, November 13, 2017, Geopolis 2215, Université de Lausanne.
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Within the context of ‘modernization’, Turkey and Tunisia introduced birth control and abortion rights to women, within the same timeline of many western countries. Tunisia legalized birth control in 1961 and abortion for certain categories of women in 1965 and for all women in 1973. In Turkey contraception was legalized in 1965 and the legalization of abortion took place in 1983. By the mid-2000’s, religious conservatism emerged in Tunisia that showed its effects in reproductive and sexual health, with many midwives and physicians adopting religious discourses to refuse abortion services to women. Abortion has been repoliticized in Turkey since 2012, when the then Prime Minister Erdogan declared in the closing session of the Parliamentarians’ Conference of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) held in Istanbul, that “abortion was mass murder.” While abortion is still legal, according to a country-wide survey by Kadir Has University, now only 7.8% of state hospitals with ob/gyn departments and 17.3% of teaching hospitals with ob/gyn departments provide abortion on demand, while refusing this legal right for the rest of the cases or requiring a medical necessity. Decrease in birth control methods in family health centers have also been observed. In this symposium, scholars, practitioners and women’s rights activists from Tunisia and Turkey will present and discuss historical developments and current policies and practices on abortion and birth control in the contexts of modernization, Islam and neoliberalism.
Participants (in alphabetical order) :
Canan Arin, Lawyer and Co-founder, Mor Çatı Kadın Sıgınagı Vakfı (Purple Roof Women’s Shelter Foundation), Turkey
Gulhan Balsoy, Assistant Prof, Department of History, Bilgi University, Turkey
Dr. Gulnihal Bulbul, MPH, MD, Obstetrics/Gynaecology, Istanbul, Turkey
Irene Capelli, PhD, Anthropologist, Independent Researcher
Atf Gherissi, PhD, MEdSc, CM, Assistant Professor, Ecole Supérieure des Sciences et Techniques de la Santé Université Tunis-El Manar, Tunisia
Dr. Selma Hajri, MD, Endocrinologist, Secretary General, Groupe Tawhida Ben Cheikh, Tunisia
Sehnaz Kiymaci, Executive Board Member, Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR)-New Ways, Turkey
Amira Yaakoubi, MD, Medical Activity Manager, Doctors without Borders
Ayse Dayi, Senior Researcher, Science and Technology Studies Lab, UNIL
Irene Maffi, Professor, Cultural and Social Anthropology Lab, UNIL
Institut des sciences sociales (ISS) - Laboratoire d’étude des sciences et des techniques