Iran’s hardline Islamic regime has banned the public display of contraceptives to spark a baby boom and boost population numbers.
Just days after imposing tough new laws making medics “accessories” in abortion cases, officials have ordered pharmacies to hide all contraceptives.
A memo from the country’s Food and Drug Administration was leaked on social media last week.
It orders chemists to move their stock of condoms to “back shelves” where they are “not visible from the pharmacy window”.
In mid-June, the Iranian regime imposed tough new laws to criminalise doctors who help with now illegal abortions as “accessories”.
Under the Iranian Health Ministry’s tough crackdown, anyone found “aiding and abetting” an illegal abortion will face heavy penalties – including disbarment for medical professionals.
Saber Jabberi, head of the ministry’s Youth Population Department, said the new policy came into effect on 18th June, adding: “If a doctor is involved in an intentional abortion his permit will be revoked, even if it is his first time.”
The move follows the introduction of the Law on Family Protection and Youth, a draconian set of restrictions aimed at forcing Iranian women to have more babies.
In line with the new policy, Iran’s Food and Drug Administration banned the distribution of free conception at health centres in February this year.
The health ministry has also imposed restrictions on screening for foetal abnormalities.
Medical insurance firms have been told to screen only women who are older than 35 or have given birth to a child with Down’s syndrome or another genetic disorder in the past, according to local media.
Geneticists and medical experts have criticised the move, saying it will lead to a higher rate of infants born with debilitating conditions.
There are also concerns that the new measures will force birth control options further underground.
Abortion is only available for medical purposes in Iran and around 600,000 women are under illegal procedures in the country every year.