Macron promises sexual health ‘revolution’ for France’s young adults

London: The French government is promising a “little revolution” in its approach to contraception, announcing that it will give young adults free condoms to reduce the rising number of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies under the age of 25.

President Emmanuel Macron said the move would address what he described as a sexual health crisis among young people, after authorities estimate the number of STDs will rise by about 30 percent in 2020 and 2021.

France is increasing young people’s access to free contraception to fight STDs and unwanted pregnancies.Credit:iStock

Earlier this year, the government made contraception free for all women under 25 and expanded a program aimed at under-18s.

The new step is part of a series of measures to promote women’s rights and reduce youth poverty. Contraception for minors was already free in France, including pills, IUDs and patches, as well as the morning-after pill.

But health authorities had found that some women stopped using contraception because of the cost when they turned 18. In 2013, when the measure was introduced for girls between the ages of 15 and 18, there was a drop in the number of voluntary terminations of pregnancy – abortions fell from a rate of 9.5 percent in 2012 to 6 percent in 2018.


Several European countries, including Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway, are making contraception free for teens.

Speaking at a health debate with young people in Fontaine-le-Comte, a suburb of Poitiers in western France, Macron said it was “a little revolution for birth control”.

Condoms are already reimbursed by the national health system with a doctor’s or midwife’s prescription, a measure to curb the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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