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'No More than Two with Caesarean'

The C-section at the Intersection of Pronatalism and Ethnicity in Turkey

Hatice Erten

Keywords: biomedicine; c-section; caesarean section; ethnicity; pronatalism; turkey

In this article, I investigate the politicisation of the Caesarean-section (C-section) in Turkey as an anti-natalist procedure. In 2012, the Turkish state began to implement a series of interventions to lower the high rates of birth by C-section, which culminated in an attempted ban on elective C-section. In a previously unseen way, I argue that this intervention was based on the logic that because women are not medically recommended to undergo several C-sections, this surgical procedure limits the number of children a woman can give birth to, causing a concomitant decrease in population growth rates. This article traces the ways in which pronatalist discourses and interventions become meaningful in the medical setting by addressing the politicisation of C-sections. It examines how the C-section reflects a particular population discourse, which is marked by a moral language that stigmatises the fertility of Kurdish women.

Affiliations

Erten, Hatice - Yale University