In Turkish Cyprus, a case recently was opened against hospital personnel who allegedly performed illegal, late-term abortions. According to Turkish Weekly, the unborn babies were at least five months old when they were aborted, making their deaths illegal in Turkey.
Turkish authorities opened the case against six Ada Hospital workers, including the owners, a head physician, a doctor, an obstetrician and a nurse. The six were charged with “allegedly carrying out abortions for several later-stage developed fetuses and then secretly burying them,” the news outlet reported.
The aborted babies’ bodies were discovered in February. Authorities are accusing the hospital staff of burying the aborted children in an attempt to conceal their illegal activity. One infant who was discovered was aborted at full-term and likely would have survived outside the womb, according to the report.
On July 11, the police officer who arrested the accused Dr. Fahri Karagonzlu testified in court. Officer Namik Kemal Baz stated that upon his arrest, Karagozlu told him that one of the “older fetuses” might have been delivered breathing; however, the doctor later changed his story, according to InCyprus.
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During the hearing, a secretary at the hospital described that after an abortion in January a nurse began crying and stated: “‘It was a beautiful baby girl and she was alive.’” She continued, “They later left the hospital with a black plastic bag in their hands.”
A nurse who testified described another incident: “In December 2015, a girl who was aged 17-18 came with her mother and father. She was pregnant. When she was leaving her baby was taken.”
The trial continues this week.
Abortions are illegal after 10 weeks in northern Turkey. Most of the world, including Europe and the Middle East, ban or heavily restrict abortions after the first trimester. The United States is one of only a handful of countries that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Others include China, North Korea and Vietnam.