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Women's attitudes to safe-induced abortion in Iran: Findings from a pilot survey

Aghakhani, N, Cleary, M ORCID: 0000-0002-1453-4850, Zarei, A and Lopez, V 2018 , 'Women's attitudes to safe-induced abortion in Iran: Findings from a pilot survey' , Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 74, no. 1 , pp. 61-64 , doi:

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Aim: To explore attitudes to safe-induced abortion among pregnant women in Iran.Background: In Islamic teachings, abortion is generally forbidden. However in specificcircumstances, abortion may be permitted and currently, in Iran, the law allowstermination of pregnancy only if three specialist physicians confirm that the pregnancyoutcome may be harmful for the mother during pregnancy or after birth.Design: Pilot, descriptive survey.Methods: A 15-item structured questionnaire focusing on attitudes to safe-inducedabortion was developed and pilot tested. Participants were pregnant women whowere referred to the Legal Medical Centre (July–December 2015) to obtain permissionfor abortion. On obtaining their informed consent, the women were asked torespond to each item if they agreed (Yes) or disagreed (No). Only their age, education,employment, marital status and religion were obtained.Results: Of the 80 survey participants referred for a safe-induced abortion, 90%were carrying foetuses with a diagnosed congenital malformation and 10% wereexperiencing complications of pregnancy that endangered their health. Themajority of women (85%) perceived abortion to be dangerous to health; 86%indicated that partners should be involved in decision-making about abortion,while 83% believed that public health officials should have complete control ofabortion law.Conclusions: There is a need to improve women’s and couples’ awareness and practiceof effective contraceptive methods. Further research is needed to better understandthe complex issues that lead to unintended pregnancies and abortionsconsidering religious beliefs and cultural and legal contexts.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Aghakhani, N and Cleary, M and Zarei, A and Lopez, V
Keywords: abortion, contraception, family planning, induced abortion, legislation, women, nursing, pregnancy, survey
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Advanced Nursing
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
ISSN: 0309-2402
DOI / ID Number:
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© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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