Access to emergency contraception, or the morning after pill, will become free in pharmacies and without a prescription, for all women regardless of their age, announced the Minister of Health, François Braun, in a daily interview. 20 Minutes.
The measure aims to contribute to “strengthening the protection of women” struggling “against their difficulties in accessing emergency contraception, because we know that its effectiveness is maximum within 24 hours of the report at risk of pregnancy” advocated the former emergency doctor. Until now, the morning after pill was available free of charge and without a prescription only for minors, from pharmacies, school nurses or in screening or sexual health centres, and for adult students. The cost in pharmacies for adults varied between three and twenty euros, with the possibility of partial coverage by social security.
“As soon as something facilitates women’s access to contraception, we can only welcome the progress, notes Claire Wolker co-president of the national association of orthogenist midwives (ANSFO). ” However, it is to consider that the cost of emergency contraception would be the only obstacle”, nuance Mireille Le Guen, demographer for INED (National Institute for Demographic Studies). Gold, “there are other limits to access to emergency contraception, including the reluctance of pharmacists, the stigmatizing remarks that some allow themselves or even duty pharmacies far from certain places of residence”. Added to this is a lack of information, even if oral contraception is the method best known to the general public.
If this new free service intends, implicitly, to prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce the number of abortions (222,000 in 2020, in France), establishing it will not be « la solution miracle »points out Claire Wolker, who reminds us that contraception is not “never 100% effective” and “40 to 60% of abortions are performed in women using contraceptive methods. » Flats in the face of the government measure that paradoxically, Pascale Morinière, president of the Catholic Family Associations (AFC), partly shares, but not for the same reasons. “With this facilitation of access, the government does not encourage women to be cautious and to take charge of their sexuality responsibly. This type of contraception, in emergency, is a means of control over the water, which can above all give a false sense of security, without necessarily preventing pregnancies in the end”, she regrets.
In parallel with that of the morning after pill, it is therefore “access to abortion, which should also be facilitated, argues Claire Wolker. We are sorely lacking in practitioners, with more and more conscientious objectors, we are still waiting for a decree authorizing midwives to perform surgical abortions, and in fact appointments are sometimes late, causing pregnancies within the 14-week period. » Claims that will be the subject of a mobilization, on September 28, for the international day of the right to abortion.