Iran’s parliament has voted to ban permanent forms of contraception, the state news agency IRNA reported, endorsing the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei‘s call for more babies to be born.

The bill, banning vasectomies and similar procedures in women, is parliament’s response to a decree Khamenei issued in May to increase the population to “strengthen national identity” and counter “undesirable aspects of western lifestyles”.

Doctors who violate the ban will be punished, the IRNA reported.

The bill, approved by 143 of 231 members present in parliament, according to the IRNA, also bans the advertising of birth control in a country where condoms had been widely available and family planning considered entirely normal.

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