Women seeking abortions in France will now have the whole cost covered by the country's social security system under reforms announced by the French government on Monday.
The French social security system is to reimburse abortion costs at 100%, under reforms announced on Monday.
At present French women can only claim back between 70 and 80% for the operation, which can cost up to 450 euros.
The change to full reimbursement, which is designed to improve women’s access to abortion, was included in the 2013 social security budget.
“All women must have equal access to abortion,” the government said in a statement.
The move by France’s newly-elected Socialist government follows a long campaign by pro-choice groups and was one of President François Hollande’s campaign pledges before he was elected in June.
Hollande also promised to make abortion, which is available on request in France up to the 12th week of pregnancy and enjoys broad support across the political spectrum, available in every major hospital.
As well as giving patients 100% cover, the reforms also allow clinics to increase the charge of carrying out operations to bring them in line with actual costs and to improve patient support.
The reforms will cost the French taxpayer 31.7 million euros in the first year. Some 225,000 abortions were carried out in France in 2010, the last year for which records are available.
(FRANCE 24 with wires)
Date created : 2012-10-03