Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Shifting policy on birth control in Iran

During the Iran-Iraq war, the government urged people to have larger families. After that, a massive program to encourage birth control was begun to reduce rapid population growth. Now the supreme leader has decided that single-child families are not healthy. For a theocracy, that seems like quite a few seemingly pragmatic policy changes.

Iran wants citizens to say ‘I do’ in bid to spark baby boom
Twenty years ago, Iran introduced a birth-control policy that provided citizens with access to contraceptives and family planning sessions for newly-weds.

But all that has changed.

In an effort to boost the country’s population, 150,000 Iranian health officers have been deployed in a house-to-house mission to urge couples to have more children, reported The Telegraph.

Iran: Population
They are promoting the benefits of marriage and urge single-child couples to expand their families, as part of an effort to double Iran’s population, which currently stands at 75 million…

“In the marriage training course, we have focused more on the child-producing because the single-child issue has caused so many problems and provoked much debate,” [Mohammad Ismail Motlagh, general manager of the health ministry’s family, school health and population program] added in an interview with Fars news agency.

He also suggested that mothers should reduce pregnancy gaps to two years and that if pregnancy gaps exceed two years, “couples should revise their methods and make plans in this regard.”…

In 2012, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khomeini, ordered the abolition of a 15 billion dollar plan aimed to budget family planning in the country. He called for the country’s population to rise and double to 150 million…

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