France Is Making The Morning After Pill Free For Everyone

France is to make the morning after pill free for women and girls of all ages from next year.
The country's Minister of Health François Braun said that emergency contraception will be available at all French pharmacies, free of charge and without a prescription, The Independent reports.
This will improve access to the morning after pill dramatically in France, where at present it's only available for free and without a prescription to girls who are underage. If a woman is under 26, she can obtain it for free with a prescription.
It will also put France way ahead of England, Scotland and Wales when it comes to accessing the morning after pill. Though emergency contraception is available for free in GUM clinics, most NHS walk-in centres and some GP surgeries, continued cuts to public health funding have meant that some women can't access it as readily as they need to.
For some women, the only real option is to pay for the morning after pill at a pharmacy, where it can cost as much as £33. When Boots crassly put the morning after pill on offer during Black Friday last November, it highlighted the unfairness of having to shell out so much for a basic healthcare product. As the cost of living crisis intensifies, this unfairness will only become more pronounced.
Katherine O'Brien of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) said at the time: "Contraception should be free at the point of use. It is an essential aspect of healthcare, yet years of chronic underfunding has meant that NHS-funded services have become less accessible." 
She acknowledged that being able to pay for emergency contraception privately is a "swift and convenient option for some women", but added: "The option to purchase contraception does not negate the need to provide it for free. We need affordable options in pharmacies but contraception should not become a privatised service.
"The ongoing battle regarding emergency contraception demonstrates how vital it is that our NHS continues to provide the reproductive healthcare that women need."

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