80,000 abortions in Iran every year
Some 80,000, mostly illegal, abortions take place yearly in Iran amounting to nine percent of all expected births, a senior health ministry official said in remarks published Sunday.
“Young girls aged around 23 are the ones who resort the most to abortions, either to hide illegal sexual relations (outside of marriage) or legal relations before marriage” such as when they are engaged, Deputy Health Minister Hossein Malek Afzali said, quoted in the Entekhab daily. The Islamic republic’s laws prohibit abortion except in rare cases where giving birth would place the mother’s life in danger.
There has been a marked rise in pre-marital sex, particularly among young people, the paper said quoting doctors and specialists.
This has contributed to the higher number of abortions, although there are no statistics available on sex before marriage.
By comparison, the number of abortions is far lower than the yearly average of 200,000 legal abortions in France, which has a population of 60 million people, five million less than Iran.
Entekhab reported Saturday that authorities had arrested two abortion practitioners, a husband and wife, who were making abortions in their home and then disposing of the fetuses in a garden well.
An internet site run by pro-reform female journalists, womeniniran.com, reported recently that laborers from Tehran’s municipality were discovering more than a dozen foetuses and dead babies in the capital’s garbage dumps every month. —AFP