The conversation around reproductive rights in the United States has centered, in recent years, solely around the idea that such rights are becoming more and more elusive for young women. Across the country, abortion and contraception access are at risk, and might be rolled back or banned entirely. But that’s far from the case in France, where the government has just enacted a law to reimburse the total cost of both abortions and contraception:
The French state will reimburse 100 percent of the cost of abortions beginning April 1, while girls aged between 15 and 18 will be offered access to free and anonymous birth control.
The change comes as a law approved in late 2012 comes into force.
Until now, French women over 18 could only receive up to 80 percent of the cost of the procedure, which can run up to 450 euros.
On Friday, conservative Americans were outraged to learn that a federal judge had ruled that girls of any age should be able to access Plan B over the counter. Younger women have virtually no access to over-the-counter birth control in the United States, despite medical guidelines that advise to the contrary. That’s a far cry from the expansive access to reproductive rights unfurling in France, and around the world.