Flemish government wants to use influencers to spread contraception awareness

Flemish Media and Youth minister Benjamin Dalle wants to use social media influencers to provide accurate information about contraception, he told parliament on Wednesday.

According to a report by the abortion support centres Luna and VUB Dilemma, clinics in Flanders and Brussels performed almost 8,300 abortions last year, a significant increase from previous years.

Dalle, who answered questions in place of Public Health minister Hilde Crevits in parliament, said the reduced use of contraceptives is not the entire reason for the increase in abortions but that it plays a role.

"Sensoa [the Flemish expertise centre for sexual health] has indeed received indications that there is a changing attitude towards hormonal contraception," he said. "The term 'hormone fatigue' is being used. In May 2023, the Youth and Health study found that the use of the pill was declining. In 2018, 73 per cent of the girls surveyed were still taking the pill at the time of their last sexual contact; in 2022, it was only 65 per cent."

According to Dalle, social media could provide an answer to spreading news about contraception. "And then I come to my own powers, the youth and the media," he said. "In terms of influencers, I have taken the initiative to create an FAQ for influencers. We have also been working with Sensoa on a specific page about contraception and sexual health, which will be launched soon. So we are going to work with influencers to make sure that they can advise correctly."

"Social media is very important; this is where young people get their information," said Flemish MP Freya Saeys. "Of course, school and parents also have a responsibility."


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