Condoms, birth-control pills and IUDs will be handed out to youths for free in Halsnæs Council in north Zealand in a bid to reduce the number of abortions and young mothers in the area.
The council – the first in Denmark to offer free contraception to youths – has some of the highest abortion figures among 16 to 24-year-olds in the country and over a fourth of its young mothers are on benefits.
“We expect that the costs will be counterbalanced by savings in the long run,” Jan Dehn, the head of family affairs at Halsnæs Council, told Politiken newspaper.
"Unwanted pregnancies strongly influence young people's connection to education and the labour market.”
Young mothers = no education
Dehn estimated that the free contraception offer would cost the council somewhere between 75,000 and 125,000 kroner a year. The initiative will initially last for the rest of the year, but it could be extended to include next year.
Gabriela Rehfeld, a midwife researcher and head of the Ungdomsmodtagelsen youth organisation in Halsnæs, said that the council would see considerable savings through its initiative, pointing out that 80 percent of women who become young mothers drop out of their education.
Out of the council’s approximate 31,000 residents, about 50 young women aged between 15 and 25 become mothers every year.