THE France will make access to contraception free for women up to 25 years old from January 1, in a new measure that will cost the state 21 million euros per year, said today the French Minister of Health Olivier Veran.
The announcement comes as the government of President Emmanuel Macron prepares for elections in 2022.
“There is a decline in contraceptive use among some young women, mainly for financial reasons,” Veran told France 2 television.
“It is unbearable that women can not protect themselves, they can not access contraception if they want this option because it is very expensive,” she added.
Until now, the age limit for free access to contraception in France has been 18 years.
The age limit was set at 25 years because “it is an age that corresponds, in terms of economic, social and income”, to “more autonomy”, the minister added.
Free contraception has been available since 2013 to girls aged 15-18, where the abortion rate has since dropped from 9.5 to 6 per 1,000 between 2012 and 2018. Since August, it has been extended to girls under 15 . To justify the expansion under the age of 15, the government had said in late 2019 that “every year, almost 1,000 girls aged 12 to 14 become pregnant in France” and that “of these pregnancies, 770 end in abortion”.