Iran has had replacement fertility since 2000. Upholding a small family size has led some couples to terminate unwanted pregnancies. Abortion is, however, permitted only on medical grounds in Iran. Using data from the Iran Low Fertility Survey, this study assessed sociodemographic correlates of abortion among a random sample of 5526 ever-married women aged 15-54 years, and used in-depth interviews to explore reasons for and psychological consequences of abortion among 40 women who had experienced an unintended pregnancy. Although social and economic concerns were the main reasons cited for seeking abortion, women experienced anxiety and depression when seeking pregnancy termination and thereafter. Social stigmatization arose from a belief that abortion is sinful and that misfortune experienced thereafter is punishment. Inadequate knowledge and misunderstanding of relevant Sharia laws discouraged women from seeking care when they experienced complications. Iran's reproductive health policies should be revised to integrate pre- and postabortion counseling.
|Journal||International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics|
|Issue number||Supplement 2|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|