Macron announces plan to address France's dwindling birth rate

French President Emmanuel Macron wants to offer free fertility checks to people aged 18 to 25 to boost the country's declining birth rate

By ITV News Digital Video Producer Isaine Blatry

President Emmanuel Macron has unveiled a comprehensive plan to combat France's dwindling birth rate.

The country's birth rate has hit its lowest point since World War II, declining by 7% last year.

Now the president's initiative aims to reverse that trend by encouraging couples to have children sooner.

Central to Macron's strategy is the introduction of free fertility checks for individuals aged between 18 and 25.

The plan is to empower young adults with information about their reproductive health, potentially enabling them to make informed decisions about family planning at an earlier stage in their lives.

The decline in birth rates in France is attributed to various factors, including shifting societal norms and increasing financial pressures.

Macron's plan seeks to alleviate the financial burdens associated with raising a family by offering financial support for new parents.

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron. Credit: AP

Surrogacy, however, is excluded from the plan due to ethical concerns.

Macron claimed surrogacy is “not compatible with the dignity of women” and equated it to “turning their bodies into commodities”.

The plans also emphasises the importance of paternal involvement in a child's life.

Macron is proposing the introduction of a "duty to visit" for fathers, which would require them to actively participate in their children's lives.

While Macron's initiative represents a proactive response to France's demographic challenges, its effectiveness remains uncertain.

Similar trends of declining birth rates have been observed in other European countries, including the UK, where efforts to reverse the trend have yet to materialise on a significant scale.

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