An Iranian official says according to the available data about 95 percent of abortions in the country are carried out through "illegal" procedures.
Saleh Ghasemi, head of the Center for Strategic Research on Population, said on Thursday that abortion is one of the most effective variables in population growth, adding that "Only three percent of abortions [in Iran] are legal, and two percent of abortions are spontaneous."
He also said that only four percent of abortions happen due to what he called "illegitimate relations".
The ban on abortion in Iran has made women go to underground and often unsanitary centers to terminate their pregnancies. Unsanitary abortion has caused the death of many women and sometimes it has caused lifetime complications.
Earlier in the year, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said efforts to increase the country's population are among the most urgent duties and essential policies of the Islamic Republic.
Parliament has passed legislation to outlaw tubectomy, vasectomy, and the free dispensation of contraceptives other than where pregnancy would threaten a woman's health. The health ministry has advised women over 35 to wait only a year before becoming pregnant again and under-35s to wait six months.
Medical experts have warned that the new legislation would increase sexually transmitted diseases by restricting access to condoms.
The law obliges the government to offer incentives, including a 7.5-fold increase in child-benefit payments to government employees, interest-free loans, and other benefits. While the new law does not include a ban on prenatal screening, doctors have been advised not to encourage it.