France to soon make condoms free for people aged 18 to 25, says Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday (December 8) that condoms would soon be made available for free for people aged between 18 and 25 years. The step is being taken to reduce unwanted pregnancies and spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Macron was talking during a health debate with youngsters in Fontaine-le-Comte, a suburb of Poitiers in western France.
"It's a small revolution for contraception," he said.
The plan to make condoms available for free follows the one that began to offer free birth control to all women under 25 years of age. In doing this, a scheme targeting under-18s was expanded to ensure that young women did not stop taking contraception just because they could not afford it.
In France, condoms are already reimbursed by national healthcare system if they are prescribed by a doctor or midwife.
On sexual education overall, "we are not very good on this subject. The reality is very, very different from the theory. It's an area where we need to much better educate our teachers", Macron said.
Macron wore a face mask at the conference, saying he was following "health ministry guidelines", as the government weighs its response to a rise in Covid cases ahead of the holidays, though so far no mask mandates have been reintroduced.
"Faced with the new spread of the epidemic... I think it's good to set an example because we don't necessarily want to return to overall mandates," he said.
Officials are urging people to wear masks in crowded venues and to get Covid vaccine booster shots as winter approaches.