The Taliban has ordered midwives and pharmacies to remove all contraception from their shelves, claiming that it is part of a “western conspiracy” to control the Muslim population.

Taliban fighters are said to be doing door-to-door visits threatening medical and health staff with one store owner telling the Guardian on Friday, February 17 that: “They came to my store twice with guns and threatened me not to keep contraceptive pills for sale.

“They are checking every pharmacy in Kabul on a regular basis, and we have stopped selling the products.”

Pharmacists in both Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif say they have been told not to stock any birth control pills or injections, with one shop owner saying, “Items such as birth control pills and Depo-Provera injections are not allowed to be kept in the pharmacy since the beginning of this month, and we are too afraid to sell the existing stock.”

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