France grants women under 25 free birth control

France has made contraceptives free for women under 25, concerned that their use has fallen and the number of abortions is high.

Young French women no longer have to pay for the pill, IUDs, diaphragms and morning after pills.

The French government said three million women stand to benefit from the new measure, estimated to cost 21 million euros, or nearly 24 million dollars.

Gynaecologist Veronique Cayol says the number of abortions reached nearly 225,000 in 2018.

"So one of the obstacles is the cost - the cost of a medical visit, the price of the drugs, and sometimes, the difficulty of going to a doctor. But making them free makes things simpler, from a financial point of view. This in itself will no longer be an obstacle to contraception, which gives a lot of freedom to women."

The new measure also covers the costs of a visit to a doctor or midwife, as well as biological tests.

Young women in Paris welcomed the government's new measure, but want it to go further.

This is 21-year-old university student Mai-anh Dang.

"Instead of democratizing this among the female population, I think it would be better to focus on male contraception, to better share this responsibility, which is quite cumbersome because there are a lot of side effects from female contraceptives, especially hormonal ones."

The measure does not cover condoms.

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