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Abortion and Public Reason in Turkey: A Normative Evaluation of the Discourses of AKP and CHP

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During May and June 2012, the question of abortion was hotly debated in Turkish public forums. This paper analyzes the main characteristics of this abortion debate using John Rawls's conception of public reason as a normative framework. In doing so, speeches and declarations on abortion made by legislators are critically evaluated. The arguments in the debate are examined with a view to interpret how the issue should be discussed as far as the demands of public reason are concerned. From a Rawlsian framework, it is observed that the pro-ban position (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi) is far from contributing to a reasonable balance of political values on abortion whereas the contra-ban position (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi) satisfies the demands of public reason. Moreover, it is argued that, the latest proposed legislation on abortion cannot be viewed as an outcome of a reasonable balance of political values but is rather an outcome of pragmatic compromise.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Izmir University, Izmir, Turkey

Publication date: January 2, 2014

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