France, a country where sex education became part of the national curriculum in 1998, recently decided that, starting 1 January 2022, contraception should be free for women under the age of 25.
They came to this policy after statistics showed that women had stopped using contraception for financial reasons.
This new policy is not that new. In 2013, authorities provided free contraception for girls aged 15-18. They did it to reduce pregnancies in minors, as well as abortions. As a result of this policy, abortions decreased from 9.5 in 2012 to to six per thousand inhabitants in 2018.
In Romania, contraception is not free for anyone. And in the absence of sex education, as well as of sexual health services, abortion becomes a method of contraception among young people.
In the last four years, in Teleorman County, 259 on-demand abortions were performed in public hospitals on girls under the age of 19. The figure represents 14% of the total on-demand abortions performed in Teleorman County during this period, in the public system. In the private system, in the same period, there was an additional number of 263 interruptions of pregnancy for girls in the same age category.
In Teleorman County there is no family planning office that has a contract with the County Health House and no doctor with a certificate or family planning skills to provide services based on the contractual relations with the respective health house.
In the schools in the county, notions of sexual education are taught according to the Romanian curriculum. Optional, incomplete and by people who lack the necessary training. The family environment is far from able to make up for this institutional absence.
The medical system only becomes aware of the final effects, such as registering births and abortions among adolescents, whose education has been abandoned by society.
Ultimately, this currently produces the Romanian model of teaching sex education: a society that lets students learn on their own.
With all the consequences that derive from it.