Contraception now free for French 15-18 year olds
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As from Sunday women in France will no longer pay to have an abortion and minors aged between 15 and 18 will be able to get free contraception in family planning centres.
The measures were promised by President François Hollande during his election campaign.
Health Minister Marisol Touraine announced that they would be coming into effect on International Women’s Day, 8 March.
The contraceptives that will be free include first and second generation contraceptive pills, the contraceptive implant and sterilisation but will not include the patch, coil and cap and condoms.
National health insurance already paid 65 per cent of contraceptive costs for 15-18-year-olds.
Some conservative groups argue that making abortion and contraception free to minors encourages young women not to be responsible.
Veronique Séhier, co-president of the French family planning group, welcomed the measures, arguing that many women could not afford the cost of abortion, which ranged between 200 and 450 euros.
But Séhier wants more.
Contraceptives need to be freely available to everyone, wherever they are, she told RFI.
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