The most frequent reasons for non-issuance of an abortion licence were gestational age over 19 weeks The most frequent reasons for the week delay in visiting the office included failure to undergo ultrasound imaging before the gestational age of 19 weeks A previous study of women applying for a legal abortion licence at this office, from May to May , reported that The percentage of licences issued in this earlier study is similar to ours.
However, the number of women applying for a licence was different; far more women applied for an abortion licence in our study indicating a 5.
In the General Office of Legal Medicine in Kerman Province in , 24 out of the 47 women applying for a licence in that year were issued one 12 , which is also consistent with our results, suggesting that almost half of the women have been successful in their application for a licence. Our study also showed that more women requested an abortion licence for fetal rather than maternal indications Moreover, most of the applications for a licence for fetal indications were granted a licence Our findings differ from other studies. However, in —, i. It is therefore only natural for the number of women applying to the Office of Legal Medicine for an abortion licence for fetal indications to have increased 9 years after the law took effect.
In fact, increased awareness in mothers and medical personnel about this law and the more frequent referral of mothers to legal medicine offices have played a key role in this increase. In our study, fetal neurological abnormalities were the most frequent reason for requesting an abortion licence in cases with fetal indications Applications on this basis also had the highest rate of success in having the licence issued The greatest proportion of the women in our study who applied for an abortion licence because of maternal indications did so because of neurological and psychological conditions For those issued a licence, the reasons included cardiac disease In the group not issued a licence, No abortion licences were issued for applications because of lung disease, thyroid disorder, unwanted pregnancy, old age, abnormalities in the other children and paternal problems.
The — study found the most common fetal indications for issuance of an abortion licence were anencephaly and major thalassaemia, and the most common maternal indication was cardiovascular diseases 7. The study in Kerman also reported major beta thalassaemia as the most common fetal indication and cardiovascular diseases as the most common maternal indication for applying for an abortion licence These studies are consistent with our study in terms of the maternal indications reported for issuance of legal abortion licences—cardiovascular diseases. However, their findings about fetal indications differ from our findings.
In —, the only fetal indication was major thalassaemia; in —, anencephaly and major thalassaemia were the most common fetal indications; and in , major thalassaemia was the most common fetal indication. In our study, fetal neurological abnormalities was the most frequent reason for the issuance of an abortion licence for fetal indications. The preparation of the legal abortion law by the Iranian Legal Medicine Organization in and its ratification by the Islamic Parliament in appear to have greatly increased the issuance of legal abortion licences for fetal indications, as applications with a variety of fetal indications were granted the licence after Therefore, based on the results of our study, it appears only reasonable that fetal neurological abnormalities and genetic disorders would be the most frequent fetal indications for an abortion licence being issued.
Our results showed that a gestational age over 19 weeks was the most common reason for the not granting an abortion licence No similar studies were found on this subject. Our study had some limitations. Because of the high volume of attendees, not all the information on the women and their application was complete. However, this problem was kept to a minimum. Nonetheless, for some women, data were missing for some questions and they were therefore excluded in the percentage calculation for that question.
As the sample of women was large, losing such a small number in each question would not likely affect the findings and conclusion. Comparison of the results obtained from this study with those from previous studies conducted in the Islamic Republic of Iran showed an increase in the number of women applying for a legal abortion licence and consequently an increase in the number of licences issued. The increase was mostly in applications for fetal rather than maternal indications. The laws introduced on abortion for fetal reasons seem to have led to this increase. In each country, policies on abortion greatly affect the related implementation.
Our findings can help policy-makers to modify existing guidelines for better implementation. For example, the most frequent reason for the non-issuance of a licence was gestational age over 19 weeks because aborting a fetus after 19 weeks is forbidden in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Therefore, early detection of fetal malformations is important and directives should be formulated to encourage and allow for this.
Similar studies are recommended to examine trends over time in the Tehran office and also to examine other offices across the country. Such findings can be used to determine the effect of national abortion laws and to provide information that can help policy-makers to change the abortion laws in the Islamic Republic of Iran based on the existing problems. Our special thanks go to all the women whose participation made this research possible. Subscribe via RSS.
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Main Search Contact. YouTube Rss feeds Twitter Facebook. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal. Abstract Background : Legal abortion has been permitted in the Islamic Republic of Iran since if there is serious and incurable disease that would cause the mother or the fetus suffering. Introduction Abortion refers to the termination of pregnancy before the 20th week of gestation or a fetus less than g of weight, and may be spontaneous or induced medically, non-medically or criminally 1.
Statistical analysis The data obtained were analysed using descriptive statistics. Conclusion Comparison of the results obtained from this study with those from previous studies conducted in the Islamic Republic of Iran showed an increase in the number of women applying for a legal abortion licence and consequently an increase in the number of licences issued.
Acknowledgements Our special thanks go to all the women whose participation made this research possible.
Competing interests : None declared. Comparison of legal abortion licenses issued by the Legal Medicine Center in Tehran before the ratification of the legal abortion act in Iran with those after ratification of the act. Iran J Pediatr. Parry J. Screening the genes. Bull World Health Organ. Abortion in Iranian legal system: a review. Iran J Allergy Asthma Immunol. Iranian J Forensic Med. Ministry of Health and Medical Education. Renew Sust Energ Rev — Proceedings of the I. Lake Reserv Manag — Resour Policy — Burby RJ Hurricane Katrina and the paradoxes of government disaster policy: bringing about wise governmental decisions for hazardous areas.
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