95% of abortions are performed illegally in Iran – officially

An Iranian official says around 95 percent of abortions in the country are performed through “illegal” procedures, according to available data.

Saleh Ghasemi, head of the Center for Strategic Population Research, said Thursday that abortion is one of the most effective variables for population growth, adding: “Only three percent of abortions [in Iran] are legal and two percent of abortions are spontaneous.”

He also said that only four percent of abortions are due to what he called “illegitimate relationships.”

Iran’s ban on abortion has led women to go to underground and often unsanitary centers to terminate their pregnancies. Unhygienic abortions have caused the deaths of many women and sometimes caused lifelong complications.

Earlier this year, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said efforts to Population growth is one of the most urgent tasks and essential politics of the Islamic Republic.

Parliament has passed legislation banning tubectomy, vasectomy and the free distribution of contraceptives unless pregnancy would endanger a woman’s health. The Department of Health has recommended that women over 35 wait just a year before conceiving again and women under 35 wait six months.

medics warn that the new legislation would increase STDs by restricting access to condoms.

The law requires the government to provide incentives, including a 7.5-fold increase in child support payments to government employees, interest-free loans and other benefits. While the new law does not ban prenatal screening, doctors have been advised not to encourage it.

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