Daily newspaper Libération reported on Tuesday that 30,000 women will be ordered to have their faulty breast implants removed.

"/> Daily newspaper Libération reported on Tuesday that 30,000 women will be ordered to have their faulty breast implants removed.

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HEALTH

Order to remove breast implants: report

Daily newspaper Libération reported on Tuesday that 30,000 women will be ordered to have their faulty breast implants removed.

Order to remove breast implants: report
Webphotographeer (File)

The paper claimed that the PIP (Poly Implant Prothèse) implants are suspected of having caused the death of at least one woman and have put thousands of others in danger.

The French Health Ministry said last week that eight women with the implants are suffering from cancer.

PIP was closed down by health authorities last year after it was discovered the company was using non-medical silicone gel in implants which were twice as likely to rupture as other products in the same category. The company CEO has been accused of fraud.

Libération reported that Agnès Buzyn, president of the national cancer institute, and Jean-Yves Grall, director general of health, confirmed that the government order to have the implants removed would take place.

Government spokeswoman Valérie Pécresse said on Tuesday that a plan of action would be announced before the end of the week.

“Today, we are in the process of evaluating these breast implants, given the cancer risks” she said on news channel LCI.

A meeting of the working group at the national cancer institute is planned for December 23rd when decisions are likely to be taken.

The main challenges of a recall would be finding all the women with the implants and the issue of who would pay for surgical operations.

“If this becomes a public health emergency then any operation costs will be covered by Social Security” said Pécresse on Tuesday.

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HEALTH

France brings in free contraception for all women aged 18-25

Free birth control for all women under 25 will be available in France from Saturday, expanding a scheme targeting under-18s to ensure young women don't stop taking contraception because they cannot afford it.

France brings in free contraception for all women aged 18-25
A doctor holds an interuterine contraceptive device (IUD) before inserting it in a patient. Photo: Adek Berry/AFP

The scheme, which could benefit three million women, covers the pill, IUDs, contraceptive patches and other methods composed of steroid hormones. Contraception for minors was already free in France.

Several European countries, including Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway, make contraception free for teens. Britain makes several forms of contraception free to all.

France announced the extension to women under 25 in September, saying surveys showed a decline in the use of contraception mainly for financial reasons.

The move is part of a series of measures taken by President Emmanuel Macron’s government to boost women’s rights and alleviate youth poverty. The free provision is supported by women’s groups including the association En Avant Tous.

“Between 18 and 25-years-old, women are very vulnerable because they lose a lot of rights compared to when they were minors and are very precarious economically,” spokeswoman Louise Delavier told AFP.

Leslie Fonquerne, an expert in gender issues, said there was more to be done.

“This measure in no way resolves the imbalance in the contraceptive burden between women and men,” the sociologist said.

In some developed countries, the free contraception won by women after decades of campaigning is coming under attack again from the religious right.

In the United States, former president Barack Obama’s signature health reform, known as Obamacare, gave most people with health insurance free access to birth control.

But his successor Donald Trump scrapped the measure, allowing employers to opt out of providing contraception coverage on religious grounds — a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in 2020.

Poland’s conservative government has also heavily restricted access to emergency contraception as part of its war on birth control.

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