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Bamdadkhabar – Abdolreza Ahmadi: The Decriminalization of abortion is one of the most important social and legal issues in developing countries that would like to promote their civil society . Among these countries, ones with higher presence of religion in the society experience more debates on this issue. This is an interview with Dr.Bilal Sambur -the professor of Sparta University in Turkey- about abortion. He explains his views about abortion and its recently prohibition by the Turkish government.
What kind of opinions exist in the ground of abortion? which one of them is yours?
Abortion is a subject of many different views. Every individual has his/ peher own view about abortion. The issue of abortion is about every aspect of being human. Talking about abortion means talking about human existence, life, liberty, dignity and liberty. The issue of abortion has philosophical, psychological, religious, cultural, sociological, emotional, legal, spiritual, economic, ideological, moral, medical and political dimensions. Basically, there are two approaches to abortion. The first one is called the pro-life approach. According to the pro-life approach, fetus is the person and abortion is the killing of a human individual. The supporters of the pro-life approach claim that they defend fetus’s right to life. The second approach is called as the pro-choice approach. According to the pro-choice approach, every woman has the right to abortion in order to protect herself against unwanted pregnancies.Both approaches have important arguments and views. I think both approaches are important and valuable.In my opinion, the right to life and the right to liberty are two fundamental human rights. We cannot sacrifice human life or human liberty fat the expense of each of other. We need a balanced approach about abortion, which defends human life and liberty together.
According to the religion and law bases, is abortion acceptable?
Although the issue of abortion is not directly a religious issue, the great religions of the world, such as Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, are strongly against abortion. From religious perspective, the issue of abortion is a matter of life and death, which includes all forms of human relationships in individual, spiritual and social levels. Various religions provide spiritual and emotional arguments against abortion. Basically religions reject abortion in order to protect the sanctity of human life. Regarding abortion, the following question is the key in the religious context: When does the fetus?
become a living soul? Many Christian groups, mainly Catholics, believe that the fetus is the living soul from the inception. Therefore, they strongly reject abortion. Islam and Judaism reject abortion, but abortion is allowed in special circumstances, so that the physical and mental health of woman’s health could be protected. Islam forbids the termination of a pregnancy after soul is given to the foetus. Briefly, religions reject abortion, but they allow abortion in a limited circumstances. Religions have different views about abortion. We need to emphasize that rejecting abortion is not a requirement of religiosity. Criticising or rejecting abortion is not only limited to religious people. Religious as well as non-religious people could criticize and reject abortion.
On the ground of morality, does a pregnant woman allowed to abort her fetus?
Morality is very personal and private. The experience of pregnancy is also very personal. Woman is the only person, who really experiences during pregnancy. Woman is the only one, who could make decisions about whether abortion should be done or not. The decision of woman, regardless of whether it is in favour or disfavour of abortion, is itself cannot be labelled as moral or immoral. Woman should decide about abortion according to her moral understanding. What is immoral is to prevent a woman’s right to abortion through the use of force and prohibition. Woman should not be forced to do anything against her will.
Most of abortion oppositions believe that fetus is a human being and has the right to live, this right is respectable and no one is able to take it away therefore this act is immoral. what is your idea about it and are you agree with it?
If people believe that the fetus is a human person, they have the right not to do abortion. There are many different views about the statue of the fetus. People, who think that the fetus is a person, should not impose their views on other people. Every individual must have freedom to form his/her conviction about the statute of the fetus. Individual must have the right to have different views about whether the fetus is a person or not. None has the right to impose his/her own morality and value on others in the name of defending human life.
If the life of mother was in risk for pregnancy, or the pregnancy was because of a rape, is woman able to abort the fetus or not?
Woman as a mother is very compassionate and caring person. The experience of pregnancy is the experience of compassion and caring. She values her baby more than anything. But there are situations, which force woman to make hard decisions against the fetus, she carries. Woman has the right to abortion if it becomes a necessity.
Is opposition with abortion against the right of human on her own body or not?
Every individual has the absolute authority over his soul, mind and body. No authority has the right to claim to own our body.In the name of opposing abortion, some people claim that the right to own body could be denied. This approach is very dangerous for human existence and liberty. Wee must defend the inviolability of human body, soul and mind against every violation.There is no legitimate foundation, which allows to violate human body. Every violation is a violence and invasion against individual will.
What’s the difference between pregnancy that result of a rape and the pregnancy that it’s not wanted? how one of them can abort and the other cannot?
This classification of the pregnancy has always been made when the issue of abortion is debated. The issue of abortion cannot be based on a such a classification of pregnancy, which is the result of rape or unwanted pregnancy. In every circumstances, woman is the one, who must decide about birth or abortion regardless of rape, physical defects of baby and so on. Allowing abortion in one circumstance and prohibiting it in another place is not a consistent and principled approach. Woman’s right to abortion must be available in every circumstances. The availability of this option is important.
We are seeing that government in Turkey prohibited the curettage. is this act not means interfering in people privacy by the government?
It is not the task of the government to impose any rule on citizens to have or not to have childrens.Individuals could make their decisions for themselves. A mother is a more compassionate than the state. There is no need for the state to play the role of a compassionate mother. Woman must make their own decisions according to their own conscience. Every state intervention to the area of pregnancy, birth and abortion is a violation of personal privacy as well as the freedom conscience. The state must be excluded from private lives of individuals.
Is government allowed to interfere in private life of people? and these act not means the aim of government to limit the society and citizens?
The power of the state must be limited as much as possible in order to protect individual liberty. Of course, state has no right to interfere individual private lives as long as individuals do not give harm to other people. State must not attempt to create a public orthodoxy and morality through the use of the issue of abortion. If the state implements a particular religious and moral orthodoxy as a state policy, this could lead to totalitarianism. Every version of secular and religious totalitarianism aims to destroy individual liberty and social diversity. The issue of abortion is not a central problem in Turkey. The state is too big and individual is very weak. How to limit the power of the state in favour of individual liberty is the problem.