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How a ‘Reproductive Health’ programme can compromise health
  1. Mehdi Aloosh, MD
  1. Researcher, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada; mehdi.aloosh@mail.mcgill.ca

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In a letter1 published in the October 2015 issue of this journal, Amir Erfani discusses the new pro-natalist fertility policy in Iran. Erfani believes that the previous family planning programme, which was implemented in Iran for more than two decades, did not offer significant health benefits to the community, and therefore its discontinuation will not impact adversely on community health. Additionally, Erfani supports Iran's Ministry of Health's recently implemented ‘Reproductive Health’ programme, which is aligned with the pro-natalist policy, and believes that this programme will benefit Iranian reproductive health generally. However, in expressing his views, it appears that Erfani has ignored key evidence to the contrary.

First, the discontinued birth control programme increased contraceptive usage among the Iranian population from 49.0% in 1989 to 73.8% in 2006,2 which simply means a lower incidence of sexually transmitted infections and fewer unintended pregnancies. Moreover, the birth control programme included free distribution of all methods of birth control and provided relevant education …

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