Contraception will soon be free for women under 25, Minister of Health Olivier Véran announced on Thursday.
A similar measure, in those under 18, has already made it possible to significantly reduce the use of abortion, often caused by a lack of contraception, the first cause of which is financial.
But feminist associations ask not to reduce contraception to a simple - although important - question of money.
You have to take good news for what it is: good news. In this case, the announcement this Thursday morning by Olivier Véran, the Minister of Health, of the reimbursement of contraception for all women under 25 (so far it was only up to 18) is good news for women's health (at least heterosexual and cisgender women) and control of their own bodies. "This shows that there is an awareness on the part of the government that the right to contraception is not taken for granted," notes Violaine Lucas, president of Choose the cause of women, to
The Minister of Health justifies the measure, which must cost 21 million euros per year, by "a decline in contraception in a certain number of young women, and the first reason is a renunciation for financial reasons".
Violaine Lucas abounds, describing, still in 2021, an obstacle course for women who, for example, want to take the pill: “We cannot be satisfied with a situation where many young women cannot have access to contraception for lack of access to contraception. of means and must go towards abortion.
Effects on young women under 18
The previous measure, free contraception for all women under 18 (since 2020) and before that for those between 15 and 18 (from 2013) have also shown their effectiveness. The use of abortion fell from 9.5 to 6 per 1,000 in this age group. “So why stop at 25? ! », Asks Diane Saint-Réquier, educator and trainer in sexual health, founder of SexySoucis. “At 25, there are still 20 or even 25 years to pay for contraception! Olivier Véran judges that at 25 one is more financially independent: it is obviously very relative.
Feminist associations do not want the question of contraception to be reduced to the sole financial question, however important it may be.
"We will need more if we really want to ask the question of sexuality in our society and this measure does not mask the failings of the State in matters of sex education," says Violaine Lucas.
Theoretically, since a 2001 law, there should be three sex education sessions per year in each class at school, college and high school.
In the facts…
"No implementing decree has been published, we have not even thought about the financing of the measure," recalls, a bit annoyed, Diane Saint-Réquier. As a result, only 25% of establishments apply the law, according to a 2016 report from the High Council for Equality between Women and Men. However, for the president of Choose the cause of women, we cannot ignore a global approach to the issue. “We cannot just ask ourselves how women are going to manage to access contraception. Taking the pill is not neutral, seeing 12-year-old girls having sex questions society. We should be able to talk about what it is to have a relationship, what consent is. "
If it is "very good" to reimburse contraception, "it is also good to talk about the contraceptive burden which is exclusively carried by women", believes Diane Saint-Réquier.
Sexual and emotional life education courses could better involve young men in straight couples: "Men must also be asked what is involved in a sexual relationship", thinks Violaine Lucas.
And from this point of view, the government's announcement is clearly a missed event since it does not even seem to concern male contraception.
Contraception will now be free for women up to 25 years old, announces Olivier Véran
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