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AI Says Iran Bills Would Reduce Women To 'Baby-Making Machines'

Rights watchdog Amnesty International says draft legislation aimed at boosting low birth rates in Iran threatens to reduce women to "baby-making machines."

The London-based group said on March 11 that draft legislation would restrict access to contraception.

Amnesty said the move would inevitably lead to an increase in backstreet abortions in a country where pregnancy termination is illegal except in very limited circumstances.

It said a second draft law, which is to go before parliament next month, would close many jobs to women who cannot or choose not to have children.

Amnesty's deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, said, the laws "would set the rights of women and girls in Iran back by decades" and would promote "a dangerous culture in which women are stripped of key rights and viewed as baby-making machines."

The draft legislation comes in response to a call by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to double Iran's population, to 150 million, within 50 years.

Based on reporting by AFP and BBC