Lack of affordability is one of the biggest barriers for women when it comes to accessing contraceptives. To address this, the French government has announced it will make birth control free and available to all women under 25.
The country already makes birth control free to everyone under 18, but the country is expanding the program after surveys indicated a drop in birth control use among women ages 18-25. The primary reason cited was the lack of health insurance or financial means to afford it.
The free contraceptives offered include the pill, IUDs, contraceptive patches, and other methods composed of steroid hormones. Doctor’s visits for birth control prescriptions will also be free.
A number of European countries make birth control free for teens including Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Norway. Britain makes several forms of contraception free to all, regardless of age.
Free contraception has been shown to lower the number of abortions among teenagers. France saw a decrease in the number of abortions among teens after introducing free contraception. The country reported a drop from 9.5 abortions per 1,000 girls between 2012 and 2018 to 6 per 1,000 today.