Attitudes and Practice of Abortion in Iran: The Role of Religiosity

Amir Erfani , Nipissing University

Little is known on the link between religiosity and attitudes and practice of abortion in the Islamic society of Iran, where abortion is illegal and clandestine abortions are prevalent. Using data from the latest Tehran Survey of Fertility (n = 2,934), this study found that women mainly support aborting pregnancies that risk women’s health and life, lead to birth defect, result from rape and occur outside marriage, while opposing abortions within marriage and for economic hardship. The largest religious disparity in the support of abortion was found for abortions within marriage and because of economic hardship. Multivariate analysis showed that the incidence of abortion was 2.4 times higher among less religious women, after controlling for confounding factors. The religious differentials in the support and practice of abortion can be a reflection of diverse views on the legitimacy of abortion among religious leaders in Iran, which is discussed in the study.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session Fertility, Family and the Life Course