Iran’s Shift in Family Planning Policies: Concerns and Challenges

Document Type: Perspective

Authors

1 ‎School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada; Regional Knowledge Hub, and WHO Collaborating Center for HIV Surveillance, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Research Center for Modeling in Health, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 Regional Knowledge Hub, and WHO Collaborating Center for HIV Surveillance, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

Abstract

Iran’s significant success in implementing Family Planning (FP) during the past 25 years, has made it a role model in the world. The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) in Iran has dropped from 6.5 in 1960 to 1.6 in 2012, which is well below the targeted value of 2.2 for the country. Iran’s success story, however, did not merely root in the implementation of FP programs. In other words, families’ strong tendency to limit fertility and delayed marriages had an undeniable role in decreasing the TFR. On the other hand, Iranian policy-makers are very concerned about such a decrease and have recently restricted access to contraception, while outlawing any surgery that reduces fertility. This paper, tries to highlight the pros and cons of such restrictive policies, and argue that the policy-makers might be jeopardizing the success of Iran’s FP program by overestimating its role in the TFR reduction rate.

Keywords

Main Subjects


 

  1. Hoodfar H, Assadpour S. The politics of population policy in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Stud Fam Plann 2000; 31: 19-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4465.2000.00019.x
  2. Mehryar AH. Ideological basis of fertility changes in post-revolutionary Iran: Shiite teachings vs. pragmatic considerations. Tehran: Institute for Research on Planning and Development;2000.
  3. Erfani A. Fertility in Tehran City and Iran: Rates, Trends and Differentials. Population Studies 2013; 1: 87-107.
  4. Erfani A, McQuillan K. Rapid fertility decline in Iran: analysis of intermediate variables. J Biosoc Sci 2008; 40: 459-78. doi: 10.1017/s002193200700243x
  5. Erfani A. A reversal in the population policy of Iran: Do curbing family planning programs raise low fertility? The XXVII IUSSP International Population Conference; 2013; Busan, Republic of Korea.
  6. Erfani A, Ilknur Yuksel-Kaptanoglu. The use of withdrawal among birth limiters in Iran and Turkey. Stud Fam Plann 2012; 43: 21-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4465.2012.00299.x
  7. Statistical Center of Iran. Iran statistical yearbook 2001. Tehran: Islamic Republic of Iran, Management & Planning Organization, Statistical Center of Iran; 2001. p. 786.
  8. Roudi-Fahimi F, Gupta Y, Swain P, Ram F, Singh A, Agrawal P, et al. Irans family planning program: responding to a nations needs. J Popul Res (Canberra) 2002; 19: 1-24.
  9. Vahidnia F. Case study: fertility decline in Iran. Popul Environ 2007; 28: 259-66. doi: 10.1007/s11111-007-0050-9
  10. Roudi-Fahimi F. Iran's family planning program: responding to a nation's needs. Washington DC:  Population Reference Bureau; 2002.
  11. Amuzegar J. Ahmadinejad's Legacy. Middle East Policy 2013; 20: 124-32. doi: 10.1111/mepo.12051
  12. Henry F. President Ahmadinejad's Speech At UN. update 2013, 328.
  13. Erfani A, McQuillan K. The changing timing of births in Iran: an explanation of the rise and fall in fertility after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Biodemography Soc Biol 2014; 60: 67-86. doi: 10.1080/19485565.2014.899428
  14. Erfani A. Factors associated with the use of withdrawal in Iran: Do fertility intentions matter? Journal of Comparative Family Studies 2012; 43: 301-12.
  15. Serbanescu F, Morris L, Stupp P, Stanescu A. The impact of recent policy changes on fertility, abortion, and contraceptive use in Romania. Stud Fam Plann 1995; 26: 76-87. doi: 10.2307/2137933
  16. Constantin A, Neagu C, Bucur A, Marinescu B. Eight years of experience in the first Romanian center of family planning and contraception. Eight years of experience in the first Romanian center of family planning and contraception 1999; 4: 57-60. doi: 10.3109/13625189909064005
  17. Karamouzian M, Haghdoost AA, Sharifi H. Addressing the needs of sexual partners of people who inject drugs through peer prevention programs in Iran. Int J Health Policy Manag 2014; 2: 81. doi: 10.15171/ijhpm.2014.19
  18. Khajehkazemi R, Osooli M, Sajadi L, Karamouzian M, Sedaghat A, Fahimfar N, et al. HIV prevalence and risk behaviours among people who inject drugs in Iran: the 2010 National Surveillance Survey. Sex Transm Infect 2013; 89: iii29-32. doi: 10.1136/sextrans-2013-051204
  19. Alipour A, Haghdoost AA, Sajadi L, Zolala F. HIV prevalence and related risk behaviours among female partners of male injecting drugs users in Iran: results of a bio-behavioural survey, 2010. Sex Transm Infect 2013; 89: iii41-4. doi: 10.1136/sextrans-2013-051201
  20. Karamouzian M, Nasirian M, Sedaghat A, Haghdoost AA. HIV in Iran. Lancet 2014; 383: 1958. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62645-8
  21. Erfani A. The Impact of Family Planning on Women’s Educational Advancement in Tehran, Iran [internet]. 2012. Available from: http://www.icrw.org/files/publications/Erfani%20MS%20edit%20Feb%202013.pdf
  22. Karamouzian M, Shokoohi M. Sexual and Reproductive Health Education in Iranian Schools. The J Adolesc Health 2014; 55: 149-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.04.009
  23. Roudi-Fahimi F, Moghadam VM. Empowering women, developing society: Female education in the Middle East and North Africa. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau; 2003.