Iranian parliament bans vasectomies in bid to boost birth rate

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live on television after casting his ballot in the Iranian presidential election in TehranBy Michelle Moghtader DUBAI (Reuters) – 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, approved by 143 out of 231 members present in parliament, according to IRNA, also bans the advertising of birth control in a country where condoms had been widely available and family planning considered entirely normal. The law now goes to the Guardian Council – a panel of theologians and jurists appointed by the Supreme Leader who examine whether legislation complies with Islam. It aims to reverse Iran's declining population, but reformists see the law as part of a drive by conservatives keep Iran's highly educated female population in traditional roles as wives and mothers.

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