President Emmanuel Macron announced on Friday, December 9, 2022 that France will make condoms free in pharmacies for anyone aged 18 up to age 25. This initiative starts on January 1, 2023.
The government says sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise among young people, and this year’s exceptional inflation is cutting especially deeply into the budgets of France’s poorest citizens.
Girls and women aged 25 and under already have access to free birth control in France as part of government efforts to ensure that young people of all incomes can prevent unwanted pregnancy.
The president agreed to expand the program after some people challenged him on social networks over why the condom measure did not include minors.
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“Let’s do it,” Macron said in a selfie video that he shot from the sidelines of a summit in Spain.
Macron later tweeted, “A lot of minors also have sex … they need to protect themselves too.”
Macron, who was France’s youngest-ever president when he was first elected in 2017 at age 39, also promised improved efforts to prevent and test for HIV and other sexually transmitted viruses.
Abortions are free in France for anyone covered under the French healthcare system. Just as the French healthcare system covers costs related to prenatal care and birth, having an abortion up to the legal 14-week limit (and longer, in some cases) is free in France.