• 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
Ikea threatens to shelve Russia growth plans
Everything Moscow. Photo: Maxim Murmur/AP

Will the Swedish furniture goliath retract its rubles?

Swedish police brace for 'unpredictable' pope
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Madeleine meeting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Nobody knows quite what to expect when Pope Francis visits secular Sweden this autumn.

Could this Swedish finding help cure alcoholism?
What causes alcohol dependency? Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Scientists hope their findings will end the stigmatization of alcoholism.

Man jailed for six years for asylum home arson
The district court in Västmanland. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A court in western Sweden has sentenced a 28-year-old asylum seeker to six years in jail for starting a fire at the asylum centre where he lived.

Volvo on hunt for 400 new engineers in Sweden
Want to help build one of these? Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Want to work in Sweden?

Swedish hearts fail on Mondays and at Christmas
Tell me why I don't like Mondays. Photo: Marcus Lindblad/SvD/TT

July is Sweden's most heart-warming month.

Woman told she's not Swedish enough for a job
A sun bather wears a Swedish flag hat to celebrate National Day. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden's discrimination watchdog is on the case.

Really hungry elk wreak havoc in Swedish forests
Om-nom-nom. Photo: AP Photo/Becky Bohrer

"It's an emergency situation."

Swedish hotels cash in on business travellers
Visitors are flocking to Malmö. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Business travellers have been flocking to city hotels in Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm this summer.

Opinion
'More men must stand up against abuse in Sweden'
Equality Minister Åsa Regnér. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Sweden's equality minister Åsa Regnér on why the government is introducing a new strategy on male violence against women.

Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
How good is Sweden for expat life?
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Gallery
Property of the week: Landskrona, Skåne
Gallery
People-watching: August 26th-28th
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
What are Sherpas doing on Sweden's highest mountain?
Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,396
jobs available