- Life Style
Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Istanbul Sunday to protest the government's plan to reduce the time limit for abortions.
Women chanted slogans and unfurled banners reading "Abortion is a right" and "It is our body" during the rally in the city's Kadikoy district, which was also attended by men.
Turkey's Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) is preparing a bill to curb abortion, which has been legal in Turkey since 1983, allowing women to terminate a pregnancy in the first 10 weeks.
But under the proposed legislation the AKP wants to drastically reduce the time limit to as little as four weeks.
Health Minister Recep Akdag said last week the bill would be submitted to the parliament this month.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan triggered outrage among women's groups and the opposition when he likened abortion to murder and further fanned the flames when he said: "Every abortion is an Uludere."
He was referring to the botched attack on Kurdish separatists by Turkish warplanes in December that claimed the lives of 34 civilians.
Erdogan has repeatedly called on women to have at least three children.
In 2004, his government backed a law criminalizing adultery but later abandoned it after intense pressure from the European Union.