5 years ago

Women's attitudes to safe-induced abortion in Iran: Findings from a pilot survey

Abbas Zarei, Michelle Cleary, Violeta Lopez, Nader Aghakhani
Aim To explore attitudes to safe-induced abortion among pregnant women in Iran. Background In Islamic teachings, abortion is generally forbidden. However in specific circumstances, abortion may be permitted and currently, in Iran, the law allows termination of pregnancy only if three specialist physicians confirm that the pregnancy outcome may be harmful for the mother during pregnancy or after birth. Design Pilot, descriptive survey. Methods A 15-item structured questionnaire focusing on attitudes to safe-induced abortion was developed and pilot tested. Participants were pregnant women who were referred to the Legal Medical Centre (July–December 2015) to obtain permission for abortion. On obtaining their informed consent, the women were asked to respond to each item if they agreed (Yes) or disagreed (No). Only their age, education, employment, marital status and religion were obtained. Results Of the 80 survey participants referred for a safe-induced abortion, 90% were carrying foetuses with a diagnosed congenital malformation and 10% were experiencing complications of pregnancy that endangered their health. The majority of women (85%) perceived abortion to be dangerous to health; 86% indicated that partners should be involved in decision-making about abortion, while 83% believed that public health officials should have complete control of abortion law. Conclusions There is a need to improve women's and couples’ awareness and practice of effective contraceptive methods. Further research is needed to better understand the complex issues that lead to unintended pregnancies and abortions considering religious beliefs and cultural and legal contexts.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/jan.13393

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