Taliban bans sale of contraceptives
photo: UNFPA

Taliban bans the sale of “Western conspiracy” contraceptives

The Taliban has banned the sale of contraceptives in two major cities of Afghanistan, claiming that it is a “western conspiracy to control the Muslim population.”

According to the Guardian newspaper, Taliban fighters have been threatening midwives and pharmacies, in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif, ordering them to stop selling birth control medicines. Many store owners have confirmed that they have stopped selling contraceptives, as Taliban fighters have been checking pharmacies.

A pharmacist in the Afghan capital told the Guardian that “They came to my store twice with guns and threatened me not to keep contraceptive pills for sale. They are regularly checking every pharmacy in Kabul and we have stopped selling the products.” 

And a midwife was warned that “You are not allowed to go outside and promote the western concept of controlling population and this is unnecessary work.”

Afghanistan has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world, made worse since the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021.