TEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian semi-official news agency is reporting that lawmakers have approved a bill criminalizing performing birth-control surgeries amid a drop in the country’s population.

The Tuesday report by the ISNA news agency says 106 lawmakers out of 207 voted for the bill, which would imprison those performing vasectomies and tubal ligations for two to five years.

The bill requires more debate and ratification by a constitutional watchdog before becoming law.

Having successfully curbed birth rates for two decades, Iran now is promoting a baby boom to help make up for its graying population. Last year, parliament approved a bill that allows the government to increase maternity leaves.

Iran is home to 77 million people. Officials say it should have a population of 150 million people or more.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.