Turkish victim of alleged rape demands urgent action to have abortion

A woman who has demanded the right to have an abortion since becoming pregnant 7.5 weeks ago due to an alleged rape by a police officer could be forced to carry the fetus to term due to the slow judicial process, daily Sabah reported today.

R.T., a mother of two, filed a complaint at the Istanbul Courthouse and demanded to take evidence from the fetus and the suspect so that she could undergo an abortion. A woman can have abortion unconditionally until the 10th week of pregnancy, according to the law. However, hospitals do not perform abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy unless there is a court order permitting a termination.

The complainant said the judicial was too slow to permit her to undergo an immediate abortion, adding that she was afraid she would be forced to have the baby if no action is taken within two days. The court must send the woman to the Forensic Medicine Institute, at which evidence from the fetus will be taken. Blood samples also have to be taken from the suspect within 24 hours to reveal whether the alleged assailant impregnated the victim, Sabah reported.

R.T. criticized the prosecutor’s office for failing to immediately send her to the institute or issue an arrest warrant.

The woman said she was first raped at Kağıthane Police Station in Istanbul on Aug. 30, 2012, in a room where she had been taken by retired policeman M.Ç., who was complaining about her over a fraud incident. The victim, however, was unable to identify the attacker in a subsequent police line-up because she was allegedly pepper-sprayed in the face before the assault.

On July 27, 2013, M.Ç. allegedly kidnapped R.T. with a car from Istanbul’s Maltepe district and raped her again at a cemetery in Istanbul’s Eyüp district.

Abortion is permitted until the fetus is 20 weeks old if the pregnancy resulted from a criminal act and if the victim also requests a termination, according to the law. (Hürriyet Daily News)