Rates of Induced Abortion in Iran: The Roles of Contraceptive Use and Religiosity
Article first published online: 20 MAY 2008
© 2008 The Population Council, Inc.
Studies in Family Planning
Volume 39, Issue 2, pages 111–122, June 2008
How to Cite
Erfani, A. and McQuillan, K. (2008), Rates of Induced Abortion in Iran: The Roles of Contraceptive Use and Religiosity. Studies in Family Planning, 39: 111–122. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4465.2008.00158.x
- Issue published online: 20 MAY 2008
- Article first published online: 20 MAY 2008
Iran has experienced a dramatic decline in fertility in recent decades, but limited access to legal abortion continues to lead many women whose pregnancies are unwanted or mistimed to undergo clandestine, unsafe abortions. No official data on the abortion rate in Iran have been collected, however. This study uses the 2000 Iran Demographic and Health Survey to estimate the abortion rate for the country as a whole and for specific regions, and to explore the role of contraceptive use and religiosity in explaining regional variations in abortion rates. We estimate the total abortion rate for the country to be 0.26 abortions per married woman, and the annual general abortion rate to be 7.5 abortions per 1,000 married women aged 15–49. We find that the negative effect of modern contraceptive use on the abortion rate is 31 percent greater than the negative effect of religiosity, and we highlight the implications of these findings for policies on reproductive health and family planning.