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Iran bans vasectomies, tube-tying in effort to boost population

The current birth rate stands at 1.8 children per woman, lower than the 2.1 rate needed to replace the dying population.
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   Aug. 12, 2014 at 4:07 PM

TEHRAN, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- In an effort to boost its population, Iran passed a law Monday banning all surgeries that permanently prevent pregnancy, including vasectomies and tube-tying.

The Islamic Republic News Agency reported that parliamentarians passed a bill that prohibits all permanent forms of birth control with the exception of cases when it's "urgently needed for health."

Doctors who violate the law will face fines based on the frequency and degree of the crime.

The current birth rate stands at 1.8 children per woman, lower than the 2.1 rate needed to replace the dying population.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has encouraged Iranians to try to increase the population as a way to resist "undesirable aspects of Western lifestyles."

The new policy sharply contrasts the position the country held in the 1980s when Iran subsidized birth control because the economy couldn't support its booming population.

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