Volume 23, Issue 5 (December & January - Special Issue on COVID-19 2020)                   J Arak Uni Med Sci 2020, 23(5): 686-697 | Back to browse issues page

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Rashidpouraie R, Sharifi M N, Rashidpouraei M. Abortion Laws and Regulations in Iran and European Countries During the COVID-19 Pandemic. J Arak Uni Med Sci 2020; 23 (5) :686-697
URL: http://jams.arakmu.ac.ir/article-1-6510-en.html
1- Department of Medical Ethics, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. , dr.roya9@gmail.com
2- Department of Medical Ethics, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
3- Department of Ultrasound, The Burwin Institute of Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound, Toronto, Canada.
Abstract:   (2790 Views)
Background and Aim: Abortion has always posed challenges in the areas of ethics, law, religion, philosophy, and reproductive health. Some countries have had different approaches to abortion at different times. Today, abortion is a major challenge in Iran. Social developments and increasing level of health literacy, awareness and participation of women in social and economic fields have led to incompatibility of theoretical and practical aspects in these areas. Women sometimes have abortions without attention to the national law. In Iran, the reasons for legal abortion are the life-threatening conditions of the mother and the fetus. During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, some countries have revised their abortion laws and regulations. In some countries, such as France and Finland, these revisions are permanent; in countries such Portugal and Norway, the changes are temporary; and in other countries such as Germany and Belgium, it is unclear whether the changes are permanent or temporary. In this study, we aim to review the abortion laws and regulations in Europe and Iran. Then, by discussing the new guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic, we evaluate the effects and consequences of this pandemic on abortion. 
Methods & Materials: The search was conducted in PubMed/MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, Scopus and Google Scholar as well as national databases such as SID, MagIran, and IranMedex on studies published from 2002 to 2020 using the following keywords:Abortion, illegal abortion, induced abortion, and COVID-19. Due to the onset of SARS-COV1 epidemic in 2002, all articles published between these two outbreaks were searched.
Ethical Considerations: All ethical principles were observed in this article.
Results: During the COVID-19 pandemic, some European countries revised the abortion laws and regulations, mostly due to realize the reproductive health right. It seems that, this revision has not yet been taken place in Iran.
Conclusion: With the emergence of COVID-19, some countries had revised their abortion laws and regulations to reduce unsafe abortions. It seems that during the Covid19 pandemic, due to changes in lifestyle such as social distancing and economic and social lockdowns, it needs to revise medical laws and regulations in health-oriented and time-dependent areas (such as abortion) so that the principles of medical ethics such as beneficence and maleficent, can be applied. Having COVID-19 and consequently abortion during the pandemic is one of the most challenging issues that should be addressed in terms of ethical, jurisprudential and legal aspects. Development of regulations based on ethical principles during the COVID-19 pandemic is necessary to prevent illegal and unsafe abortions.
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Type of Study: Review Article | Subject: COVID-19
Received: 2020/05/19 | Accepted: 2020/10/6

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