Iran's parliament has voted to ban vasectomies and other permanent forms of birth control in an attempt to increase the country's birthrate. The legislation would ban vasectomies and impose punishments for encouraging contraceptive services and abortions.
The bill, which was approved by lawmakers on August 10, will be sent to conservative clerics on Iran's Guardian Council to examine whether it complies with Islamic rules.
Supporters of the legislation say it will help to bolster Iran's declining population.
However, reformists criticize it as a drive by conservatives to keep highly educated women in traditional roles as wives and mothers.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has urged people to have more children to increase Iran's population, and to counter Western lifestyles.
Abortion is legal in Iran if the mother faces serious health problems, or if the fetus is diagnosed with certain defects.
Based on reporting by Reuters and RFE/RL's Radio Farda
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