Sexual health

Free contraception extended to French women up to the age of 25

A package of birth control pills (illustration)
A package of birth control pills (illustration) pixabay

France's health minister has announced that contraception will be free for all women up to the age of 25 as of the beginning of 2022. It is an extension of a measure in place for young women since 2013.

Advertising

"I have noticed that according to scientific data, there has been a drop in the number of women using contraception, notably due to financial reasons," health minister Olivier Véran explained during an interview on French television on Thursday.

"Everything associated with hormonal contraception such as medical tests, doctor's visits and the prescription will be covered up to the age of 25," he said.

It is an extension to an existing measure which was in place for girls under 18 and will cost the government 21 million euros per year, as of the 1 January 2022.

25 was chosen as the age limit because "in terms of this age corresponds with more economic and social autonomy," the minister said, adding that "it's also the age limit for being associated to one's family health coverage".

However, cost is not the only reason given, says the former director of the French National College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians.

"We've heard a lot of negative things about hormones and there's been a decrease in young people using them. They don't want to hear about contraception," Israël Nisand told France info.

Drop in abortions

Free contraception has been made available to girls between the ages of 15 and 18 since 2013 and figures show that this lead to a drop in the number of abortions, from 9.5 to 6 out of every 1,000 between 2012 and 2018.

Since August 2020, it was extended to girls under 15.

The government justified this decision at the end of 2019 saying that each year nearly 1,000 girls between 12-14 years-old fall pregnant, and around 770 of those end with abortions.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning

Keep up to date with international news by downloading the RFI app