Teenage Pregnancy in France

Find out about the French attitude to teenagers’ health, sexuality and pregnancy...

School age children will receive a certain amount of education and advice regarding sexuality and preventing unwanted pregnancies. The French family planning organisation (Planning Familial) is responsible for providing information on contraception, abortion (avortement), sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS (SIDA).

Contraception

Certain methods of contraception are free for 15-18 year olds. This includes most contraceptive pills but not condoms. The teenager must show the Carte Vitale at the pharmacy, and specify if they want to use their right of anonymity. The medical visit and any tests are, however, not free of charge.

At family planning centres (Les centres de planification et d'éducation familiale, CPEF) all consultations, examinations, tests and contraceptives are free of charge, regardless of age.

Abortion

Termination of pregnancy (IVG) is legal in France up to 12-weeks after conception. There is a one-week period of compulsory "reflection" prior to termination, except in an urgent case where this can be reduced to two days.

In the first instance girls should approach their usual doctor or a public hospital or clinic which practises abortions. Girls under 18 will have to meet with a counsellor during the week prior to the process and in the days immediately after. Authorisation from a parent is required, unless the family situation prevents this. The girl must then be accompanied by another adult (a person over 18 years) throughout the procedure.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

AIDS (SIDA) continues to cause concern in France and public health centres throughout the country provide free and confidential information for those who need it. School age children are given information and reminded of the availability of condom machines in public places (often a machine outside a chemists) and in supermarkets.