Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
The Iranian regime has imposed tough new laws to criminalise doctors as “accessories” in abortion cases as they look to force a baby boom for the country’s future.
Under the Iranian Health Ministry’s tough crackdown, anyone found “aiding and abetting” an illegal abortion will face heavy penalties – including disbarment for medical professionals.
Saber Jabberi, head of the ministry’s Youth Population Department, said the new policy came into effect on 18th June, adding: “If a doctor is involved in an intentional abortion his permit will be revoked, even if it is his first time.”
The move follows the introduction of the Law on Family Protection and Youth, a draconian set of restrictions aimed at forcing Iranian women to have more babies.
In line with the new policy, Iran’s Food and Drug Administration banned the distribution of free conception at health centres in February this year.
The health ministry has also imposed restrictions on screening for foetal abnormalities.
Medical insurance firms have been told to only screen women who are older than 35 or have given birth to a child with Down’s syndrome or another genetic disorder in the past, according to local media.
Geneticists and medical experts have criticised the move, saying it will lead to a higher rate of infants born with debilitating conditions.
There are also concerns that the new measures will force birth control options further underground.
Abortion is only available for medical purposes in Iran and around 600,000 women under illegal procedures in the country every year.