Religious restrictions and moral grounds, such as fear over committing a sin, are the major causes of opposing therapeutic abortions.
This study aimed to describe pregnant women's justifications for deciding on pregnancy termination due to beta thalassemia major (β-TM) in the sociocultural context of Sistan and Baluchestan province, Iran.
In this qualitative study, in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 27 pregnant women and their husbands. Purposive sampling was used to recruit pregnant women who were able to speak and understand Persian, had no known mental illnesses or psychiatric problems and had fetuses with β-TM. Data were analyzed using narrative thematic analysis.
At the time of receiving, the results of chorionic villus sampling for β-TM screening, the age and the gestational age ranges of the participants were 19–42 years and 11–18 weeks, respectively. Women's justifications for deciding on pregnancy termination due to β-TM were explained in three main themes, namely, child's physical suffering, negative psychological consequences, and attempting to be good parents.
Providing families with information about the long-term effects of β-TM on the child and family members can help them make informed decisions on pregnancy continuation or termination.