The Iranian authorities ordered the reporting of pregnancies of women in order to prevent “criminal abortions”
A letter from an official judicial agency in Iran called on laboratories to prevent “criminal abortions” by reporting positive pregnancy tests on women to the government.
The letter from the deputy minister of justice in the northern Iranian province of Mazandaran urged laboratories in the province to violate the privacy rights of patients and the confidentiality of patients and doctors by informing local authorities of new pregnancies in the area.
The letter, addressed to the President of the University of Medical Sciences in Iran, read: “One of the ways to prevent abortion is to connect laboratories and clinical centers to present mothers with positive pregnancy test results.”
The letter was leaked on Twitter by health and medical journalist Mahdiar Saeedian and has sparked outrage among women in Iran on social media.
“I think we surpass” The Handmaid’s Tale. “Protecting patient privacy is meaningless,” wrote one Twitter user of the dystopian television drama in which women are treated as state property.
Another Twitter user commented: âI really don’t understand why in a country with such a low level of public welfare the government comes and starts a population increase policy. What is this ridiculous game? ‘
The news comes amid the introduction of bizarre television censorship rules in Iran that prohibit broadcasters from showing women eating pizza, sandwiches and “red drinks.”
A letter from an official judicial agency in Iran called on laboratories to prevent “criminal abortions” by reporting positive pregnancy tests to the government
A letter leaked on Twitter from a crime prevention representative in Iran addressed to the president of the University of Medical Sciences read: “One of the ways to prevent abortion is to connect laboratories and clinical centers to mothers with positive pregnancy test results to introduce. ” ‘
Abortion is illegal in almost all cases in Iran, with occasional exceptions for married women who can show that the birth will endanger their life or the life of the baby, or that the child will likely be born with a severe disability.
Women who are unmarried or who have become pregnant through adulterous relationships do not have access to legal abortions.
About 9,000 legal abortions are performed in Iran each year, but the Iranian Ministry of Health estimates that about 250,000 illegal abortions occur each year.
While pregnant women can turn to backyard clinics or schedule appointments with doctors to have abortions performed, Iran is also punishing any medical professional who has performed an illegal abortion with up to a year imprisonment and substantial fines to the BBC.
This discourages many clinics from offering such a service and forces women with unwanted pregnancies to take drastic measures to prevent childbirth.
Iranian television censors have banned soap operas from showing women eating pizza on screen. The ban prevents broadcasters from showing women engaging in what appears to be completely arbitrary behavior
Human Rights Watch has described women’s rights in Iran as “severely restricted”.
An Iranian women’s rights activist told the story abc news on condition of anonymity that the move is symptomatic of the Islamic Republic’s desire to maintain control over women’s bodies.
âImagine a woman who became pregnant in an extramarital affair. They would never dare go to a laboratory for a pregnancy test if they knew their information would be reported, âthe activist said.
In response to the outcry on social media, the official Iranian news agency IRIB News published an interview with the Deputy for Crime Prevention of the Provincial Judiciary, which said the order in the letter was only to prevent “unprofessional abortions”.
However, there are suspicions that the move may be part of a plan to fuel Iran’s dwindling population growth.
The country’s population growth rate between 2011 and 2016 was 1.24%, but it is now 1.15% based on data collected by the World Population Review.
Similar to doctors who have performed illegal abortions, women who have illegally aborted a baby face substantial fines, but the length of their prison sentence is determined by the judge on a case-by-case basis, which can result in severe prison sentences.
The Iranian activist told ABC News: “The solution to overcoming a low population is not to monitor people’s relationships and affairs or their access to safe abortions or contraception.”
The government’s letter urging labs to report positive pregnancy tests quickly quenched hopes the nation is easing its stance on women’s rights after the government recently announced that women would be attending a soccer game for the first time in two years to be allowed to.
The letter quickly dashed hopes that the nation was easing its stance on women’s rights after the government recently announced that women would be allowed to play a football match for the first time in two years
“The presence of women has been approved for the game between the national soccer teams of Iran and South Korea on October 12 at the capital’s Azadi Stadium,” said the Young Journalists Club, affiliated with state television.
Meanwhile, IranWire reported Tuesday that Iranian government officials issued new guidelines for broadcasters preventing them from showing women certain types of behavior.
The website said Amir Hossein Shamshadi, head of PR for state broadcaster IRIB, ruled that women shouldn’t be shown on-screen eating pizza or sandwiches or drinking red drinks.
To ensure that the strict new rules are followed, any scenes or photographs showing men and women in a home environment must be approved by the IRIB prior to being broadcast.
Some Iranian streaming sites will censor themselves to avoid sanctions from the Tehran authorities.
Under the new rules, women are not allowed to be shown on TV shows wearing leather gloves or a red drink
Federal judge blocks controversial Texas ban on most abortions
The battle over the toughest abortion ban in Texas intensified Wednesday after a federal judge temporarily blocked the state’s controversial restrictions and the Lone Star State immediately appealed.
Austin District Judge Robert Pitman’s lawsuit prevents the state from enforcing the Abortion Act, which prohibits women from performing the procedure after six weeks of gestation – the time a fetal heartbeat is detected but some women even know that you are pregnant.
Pitman didn’t postpone the effective date of his ruling to give Texas time to seek an immediate stay in an appeals court, meaning state abortion providers now have a short window of time to resume offering abortions to patients.
However, it is still unclear whether they are ready to do so. Despite the suspended law, abortion services cannot be resumed in the state because doctors fear they could be sued without a more permanent court decision.
The news comes after thousands of women took part in a series of 660 marches on Saturday to protest Texasâs restrictive abortion law