France to offer free birth control, medical visits about contraception

France to offer free birth control, medical visits about contraception
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Starting next year, France will offer free contraceptives to all women up to the age of 25, the health minister announced Thursday, according to The Associated Press

Health Minister Olivier Veran added that the new measures would also include allowing free medical visits about contraception.

Before, only women up to 18 could receive free contraceptive methods in France. France's health care system covers some of the cost of birth control, but not all. However, abortions are free in the country, the AP noted.

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Veran said that the moves were made in part because young women are not using contraception as much as they used to, citing financial reasons as the main issue. 

“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,” Veran said, according to the AP. 

Veran did not discuss contraceptive methods for men. 

He said his measure would cost about 21 million euros (almost $25 million) per year. 

Several other countries, including Britain and Spain, offer free or subsidized contraceptives.