News Wednesday August 8, 2012

‘Contraception passes’ will expand access to the pill in Paris

From Tuesday, teenage girls in Paris will be able to access birth control contraception more easily, by using ‘contraception passes’.

The passes will be given to girls who are aged between 15 and 18. They will allow girls to access free contraception, without their parents being involved, and without them having to visit family planning clinics.

The French news agency France 24 interviewed several Parisian teenagers who welcomed the scheme. They said that having to locate family planning clinics, and spend money on contraception, sometimes put people off taking action. This way, they argued, more girls would be willing to seek out contraception early.

The pill, technical known as the oral contraceptive pill, is a regular contraceptive method that is taken throughout a woman’s monthly cycle. Used consistently, it is the most highly effective method of pregnancy prevention that can be used, working in 99% of cases on average. The pill uses natural hormones to prevent pregnancy occurring. It is recommended for use by girls who are in a stable, long-term relationship.

In various countries around the world, health campaigners have argued for contraceptive methods such as condoms, the pill, and morning after pills to be made more readily available for girls. On the other hand, some people have campaigned against extending access to these medications, because they argue that it could promote teenagers to have more sex. Health campaigners say this argument is flawed. One teenage girl speaking to France 24 about the recent change said: “Just because you can get contraception at school doesn’t mean you’re forced to start having sex.”

In Britain doctors are saying that morning after pills could be a useful contraceptive method over the bank holiday weekend.

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