France to offer free contraception benefits to women under 26

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France will offer free birth control to all women up to the age of 25 starting next year, the country’s health ministry has announced.

The benefits will also include free medical visits about contraception from January 1, 2022.

French health minister Olivier Véran announced the new measure on Thursday in an interview with France 2 television.

All contraceptive methods were already free for girls up to 18 years old in France, while abortions are free for all women and girls.

Véran said young women are using contraception less than they used to, and that the main reason is financial. France’s state health care system covers some birth control costs but not all of them.

“It’s intolerable that women aren’t able to protect themselves, aren’t able to use contraception if they make that choice, because it would cost too much,” he said.

The measure will cost the government about €21 million euros, Veran added, without mentioning any male contraception benefits.

Contraceptive methods are currently free in the UK, while Spain offers free birth control pills and subsidises other forms of contraception.

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