Khamenei’s Failing Hand: Abortion Rates Defy Iran’s Population Policy

March 13, 2024
Majid Mohammadi

A notable paradox in population dynamics has emerged recently in Iran.

On one front, the government aims to increase the population by two-fold – and as soon as possible. To achieve this, it has severely restricted abortion and contraception, and simultaneously promotes pregnancy and childbearing.

But, year after year, individuals are instead opting to have fewer children, standing in opposition to the government's ambitious population policy. In essence, Iranians have effectively countered Khamenei's population policy – and defeated its goals.


Iran Shuts Down Clinic After Establishing ‘Anti-Abortion Watch’

May 10, 2023
Maryam Sinaee

Iranian authorities shut down a clinic Sunday, after they said a “volunteer force” has been established to identify doctors and clinics who carry out abortions.

Public Relations of Tabriz Medical Sciences University said in a statement Monday that various organizations including the university, Basij Physicians Militia of the Revolutionary Guards’ (IRGC), the justice department of East Azarbaijan Province, and police identified and sealed the clinic.

At the same time, Saber Jabbari-Farouji, head of the health ministry’s Center for Rejuvenation of Population, that a volunteer group called Nafas (life) has been formed to help prevent abortions. Iranian media have dubbed the group as “[Anti-] Abortion Patrols”, similar to hijab enforcement units.


From Iran, Solidarity With American Women


Editor’s note: For almost two weeks, protests have been raging across Iran, triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was in custody of the morality police at the time of her death. Her alleged crime: not abiding by the country’s hijab rules. Iranian human rights lawyer and long-time friend of Ms. magazine, Nasrin Sotoudeh has spent her career fighting for the rights of women and minorities in the Middle East. In a letter to Ms. (below), Sotoudeh connected what’s happening with Iran to the global fight for women’s rights.

My warmest greetings from Iran. I would like to express my deep and sincere solidarity with the staff and readers of Ms. magazine.

This bond is rooted in my appreciation for your unreserved support for me and my husband during the harsh days of my imprisonment. With pressure that tightened like a noose around our family on a daily basis, your coverage of human rights abuses in and out of Iran’s prisons, along with your clear personal concern, brought us (and others) much-needed hope.


Iran Moves To Tighten Abortion Restrictions

July 04, 2022
By Golnaz Esfandiari

Maryam ended her pregnancy two years ago
using abortion pills. Her husband supported her. The couple already have a boy
and a girl, and they decided they did not want a third child.

Abortion pills are not easily accessible in Iran due to government
restrictions. Maryam obtained misoprostol through a pharmacist who was
recommended by a friend.


Iran – Tasnim News Agency Raises Alarm Over Abortion Numbers


In an attack on abortion in Iran, the Tasnim news agency, which is affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, proclaimed Thursday that 1,000 “Shiite children are murdered by their parents every day.”

Tasnim cited data from the health ministry dating back five years. The agency claimed that only ten of 1,000 abortions had been legal, with 93 percent of the women married and 7 percent single. A daily figure of 1,000 is half the 2,000 – or around 700,000 a year – claimed last year by Amirhossein Bankipour, head of the parliament’s population committee.


Iran doubles down on abortion and contraception restrictions

By Miriam Berger
Dec 1, 2021

Iranians long had degrees of access to free contraception at public health facilities, part of family planning policies aimed at limiting population growth.

In recent years, policy shifts have whittled away such programs. The changes have culminated under a new law — meant to address an emergent demographic shift — which critics have decried as a major setback for women’s and reproductive rights.


Iran death penalty threat for abortion unlawful: UN rights experts

16 November 2021
United Nations

A new Iranian law that raises the prospect of the death penalty for abortion has been condemned by independent human rights experts, who have declared that is in “clear contravention of international law”.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the experts called on the Iranian authorities to repeal the ‘Youthful Population and Protection of the Family’ law, which was ratified by Iran’s Guardian Council on the first of November.


Women’s bodies have become a battleground in the fight for Iran’s future

Women’s bodies have become a battleground in the fight for Iran’s future
A regressive law to boost the population has restricted the reproductive choices and rights of all Iranian women. Though some suffer more than others.

Zaynab H
29 August 2018

In the early 1990s, Iran had one of best family planning programmes in the developing world. From 1980 to 2010, it managed to cut the average number of children each woman bore from six and a half to two. But these gains have since been reversed and all Iranian women are suffering under regressive legislation passed in 2015. Though, of course, some are suffering more than others.

As a sexual and reproductive health and rights advocate, I have been working with marginalised women's collectives in underserved districts of Tehran for five years. I have seen how laws like The Comprehensive Population and Exaltation of Family Bill (or Bill 315, as it is known) most directly and severely affect the poorest women: sex workers, those with drug abuse issues, rural, migrant and ethnic minority women – those who were highly dependent on state provision of contraception.


1968: a revolutionary year – also for reproduction

1968: a revolutionary year – also for reproduction

By: Nikolai Astrup, Minister of International Development, Norway;- Isabella Lövin, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate and Deputy Prime Minister, Sweden; Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Development Cooperation, Denmark; and Anne-Mari Virolainen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Finland.

This year, in 2018, it is 50 years since reproductive rights – including the right to decide whether to have children and how many children to have – were first formally recognised.

More than 200 million women in developing countries are still denied these rights.

1968 gave its name to a generation known for its ambition to change the world for the better. And a historic decision was made that year, a decision with the potential to fundamentally change the lives of all people – and of women in particular.


Iran: Rise in MTP Rates

Rise in MTP Rates
Monday, August 28, 2017

According to data released by the Health Ministry, last year (ended in March), 12,281 women put in applications for the medical termination of their pregnancies. The figure was 23.4% higher compared to the preceding year.

“Permission was granted to 8,537 applicants, which indicates that the number of permits increased by 19.8% compared to the preceding year,” said Ahmad Shojaee, head of the Legal Medicine Organization, ILNA reported.

Continued at source: Financial Tribune: