MEMORANDUM To Anna Neistat Senior Director of Amnesty International â€œRecent law in Iran Regarding Contraceptive Measures; Proposed Strategies and Course of Actionâ€ Summery Everybody has the right to decide about his/her body without external interference. This right includes decisions regarding the pregnancy and contraceptive measures. In other words, generally no one can impose binding norms on citizens about childbearing.
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Besides that, governments not only should not violate this human right but also have the responsibility to protect the citizens against any interference in implementing this right. However, abortion has been a deep rooted problem in Iran. Even before Islamic revolution abortion was not totally permitted in Iran. But after revolution of 1979 the new law became more conservative and limited regarding abortion. Furthermore, recently a law was passed in Iranian parliament that highly limits the pregnancy preventive measures. It even considers criminal punishment for citizens who use these measures. Clearly, this law can make the womenâ€™s situation even worse. More explicitly, the number of clandestine and illegal abortion will increase since in many cases the pregnancy is unwanted. Even if the general policy is increasing the birth rate, restricting access to preventive measures is not acceptable. Amnesty international should use its strategies to prevent the continuing human rights violation in Iran in this particular filed. We had already struggled against abortion ban in El Salvador. I wish that by the strategies that are proposed here we could at least draw the international attention to this problem.
Iran recently (in July 2014) adopted a law titled â€œincreasing fertility and helping to prevent the decline in growth of populationâ€. Many articles of this law explicitly violate the international human rights standards. Everybody has basic and fundamental human rights to make his/her decisions about his/her body, health and sexual life. In other words the autonomy should be respected in every situation. However in above mentioned law it is predicted that abortion, sterilization, vasectomy, tubectomy and any advertisements on birth limitation is prohibited and even the imprisonment is included as a punishment. Actually this law is adopted following the general policy of Iranian state to increase the population and birth rate. Under the existing law even if a woman be pregnant as a result of rape she still doesnâ€™t have the right to an abortion. In this law even the suitable age for marriage for both boys and girls is determined. With regard to this law 20-25 years old and 18-22 are the appreciate ages for boys and girls respectably. In 1976, the Iranian Penal Code was amended. According to this new law a physician was allowed to perform an abortion under restrict conditions. In other words, couple should present evidence for a justified abortion.
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