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Iran’s parliament has voted to ban permanent forms of contraception, the state news agency IRNA reported, endorsing the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s call for measures to increase the population. The bill, banning vasectomies and similar procedures in women, is parliament’s response to a decree Khamenei issued in May calling for more babies to “strengthen national identity” and counter “undesirable aspects of Western lifestyles”. The ISNA news agency reported, doctors who violate the ban will be punishable by law. State media reported that the number of illegal terminations between March 2012 and March 2013 was 12,000, more than half the total number of abortions that year. According to IRNA, Iran’s birth rate stands at 1.6 children per woman, lawmaker Ali Motahari said.



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