• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Free birth control pills tested on young southern Swedes
Should contraceptives be free for everyone? Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Free birth control pills tested on young southern Swedes

Emma Löfgren · 1 Feb 2016, 17:02

Published: 01 Feb 2016 17:02 GMT+01:00

Skåne county in southern Sweden announced on Monday that all types of contraception would be offered without charge to women under the age of 26 for the first time as part of a three-year trial project designed to cut abortions.

The region has previously offered a number of birth control pills, condoms and a intrauterine device (a type of coil) for free or at reduced rates. But other forms of contraception that have not been part of the scheme in some cases have left users short of close to 1,000 kronor ($117).

The proposal to extend the availability of free contraception was put forward by the Liberal party and approved at a meeting of the region's health committee. It was backed by the other three centre-right parties – the Moderates, Centre Party and Christian Democrats – as well as the Left Party and the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats.

"It is not reasonable that whether you have to pay for contraceptives or not depends on whether you use the pill or a coil," Liberal councillor Gilbert Tribo told the regional newspaper Sydsvenskan after his party's proposal was approved at a meeting of the health committee.

Skåne follows in the footsteps of the northern Norrbotten region, which introduced free birth control for under-26s in 2012. The move was largely credited with the number of abortions among young women in the region decreasing by half three years later. 

Kristina Ljungros, head of RFSU, Sweden's largest sexual education campaign organization, told The Local on Monday that she welcomed the decision to include all contraceptives in the scheme in Skåne.

"We are of course very, very happy. (…) Contraceptives are so individual, and there is a risk that people choose not to use them if they can't afford the ones that suit them best," she said.

Sweden's centre-left Social Democrat-Green coalition government pushed through a series of health reforms last year, including making available free contraceptive pills for women under the age of 20 from summer 2017.

Story continues below…

But Ljungros said that she wanted to see the age limit raised and extend Skåne's move nationwide to include all types of contraception.

"Abortions peak at the ages of 20-24, so we want to see this at a national level. But until then the more regions that follow suit, the better," she said.

A total of 36,600 abortions were carried out across Sweden in 2014, according to statistics from the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Emma Löfgren (emma.lofgren@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
Swedish economy beating European giants in 2016
New numbers from Statistics Sweden paint a positive picture. Photo: Micke Larsson/TT

Sweden's economy is leaving the likes of Germany and Great Britain in its wake, figures suggest.

Video
Meet Dynamite Erik, a Swede who blows things up for fun
Who doesn't want to blow up a computer? Photo: Erik Johansson

The Local talks to a Swedish farmer who has turned his hobby of blowing things up into a YouTube sensation.

Swedish police to trial use of taser guns
A file photo of a Swedish police officer. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The weapons are designed to incapacitate assailants through an electrical current.

Swedish woman denied job because of her head scarf
Gothenburg resident Ruya El Hattawi, who says she was denied a job because of her veil. Photo: Private

Delight over tying down a summer job soon gave way to shock when the offer was withdrawn.

Fans threatening boycott of Johnny Depp's Stockholm gig
Johnny Depp and the Hollywood Vampires performing at the 2016 Grammy Awards. Photo: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

But others were queuing outside on Monday morning.

Good news: The Swedish summer has returned
It could be time for that first swim of the year in Sweden. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Time to put away those waterproofs and bring out the bathing suits once more.

Zlatan's sore calf forces him to sit out Sweden's friendly
Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the Sweden team's training camp. Photo: Erik Nylander/TT

So does that mean Slovenia will beat Sweden on Monday?

'Sweden would not be able to defend Gotland'
File photo of a military exercise. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT

Sweden would not be able to make a stand if it came to an invasion of the Baltic Sea island by foreign forces, one expert has said.

My Swedish Career
'Sweden is the ideal place for my business'
Emilie Terstegge. Photo: Sandra Jolly Photography.

Why Sweden's fitness craze and generous family benefits helped this Dutch entrepreneur launch her startup for mums.

Police shoot knife man in central Stockholm
Police technicians spent the rest of Saturday night combing the square for clues. Photo: TT

A knife-wielding man was shot by police officers in Stockholm’s Sergel Square after he attacked officers.

Sponsored Article
'Only soft power can defeat radicalism'
Gallery
People-watching: May 27th-29th
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
National
First migrants make it from Denmark to Sweden on foot
Gallery
The best, cutest and funniest snaps from Prince Oscar's christening
Blog updates

27 May

Editor’s blog, May 27th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, Would you spend a day doing manual labour in high heels? That’s what Swedish…" READ »

 

17 May

What about “att”? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! It often seems like the small words are the ones that cause the most confusion.…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
Travel
Is this town the best place in Sweden?
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Gallery
People-watching: May 25th
Society
WATCH: Why Swedish handyman wore pink high heels for feminism
Sport
LIST: Top-ten ridiculous things Zlatan has compared himself to
Sponsored Article
Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups
Business & Money
Why Swedes don't want the euro
Sponsored Article
Food, fun, and reliable sun: Summer in Dubrovnik
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vika, Falun
National
Is this the most Swedish tattoo ever?
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th-22nd
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so many successful researchers
National
How to really annoy a Swede abroad
National
How this war veteran is warming hearts in Sweden
Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
Gallery
People-watching: May 18th
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
National
How this Swede's viral ad totally nailed Stockholm's housing crisis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Gallery
Property of the week: Vasastaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Lifestyle
The best Swedish cities for dating
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
People-watching: May 13th-15th
Culture
BLOG: Eurovision as it happened
National
Why a 116-year-old Swede isn't the world's oldest woman
National
Youth unemployment falls in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: May 11th
Gallery
People-watching: May 6th-8th
3,315
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se