Abortion in Iranian legal system

Mahmoud Abbasi, Ehsan Shamsi Gooshki, Neda Allahbedashti

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Abortion traditionally means miscarriage and is still known as a problem, which societies have been trying to reduce its rate by using legal means. Despite the fact that pregnant women and fetuses have been historically supported; abortion was firstly criminalized in 1926 in Iran, 20 years after establishment of modern legal system. During next 53 years this situation changed dramatically, thus in 1979, the time of Islamic Revolution, aborting fetuses up to 12 weeks of conception and therapeutic abortion (TA) during the entire period of pregnancy were legitimated, based on regulations that used medical justifications. After 1979 the situation changed into a totally conservative and restrictive approach and new Islamic concepts as "Blood Money" and "Ensoulment" entered the legal debates around abortion. During next 33 years, again a trend of decriminalization for the act of abortion has been continued. Reduction of punishments and omitting retaliation for criminal abortions, recognizing fetal and maternal medical indications including some immunologic problems as legitimate reasons for aborting fetuses before 4 months of gestation and omitting the fathers' consent as a necessary condition for TA are among these changes. The start point for this decriminalization process was public and professional need, which was responded by religious government, firstly by issuing juristic rulings ( Fatwas) as a non-official way, followed by ratification of "Therapeutic Abortion Act" (TAA) and other regulations as an official pathway. Here, we have reviewed this trend of decriminalization, the role of public and professional request in initiating such process and the rule-based language of Iran TAA. Copyright

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-84
Number of pages14
JournalIranian Journal of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Immunologic indication
  • Iran
  • Islam
  • Legislation
  • Therapeutic abortion

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