Last week some of the roughly 30,000 French women who received faulty breast implants in the past decade protested outside the French health ministry, demanding that the government pay for the removal of the implants. Several of the women have developed cancer, and today officials said that if a link is established between the disease and the implants the government will pay to have them removed. They'll even spring for the cost of replacing the implants, but only if the women are breast cancer survivors, not skanks who wanted bigger boobs.
Until the company collapsed in scandal last year, Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) was the third largest producer of implants in the world. Then it was discovered that the French company was using cheap non-medical grade silicone in implants and contstructing casings out of sub-par material that's more likey to rupture. It's estimated that as many as 300,000 women worldwide may have the implants. AFP reports that now eight cases of cancer have been discovered in women with PIP implants. Most have breast cancer and one has died.
French health officials say they haven't established a causal link between the implants and the cancer, so there is "no urgent health risk." However, the government has acknowledged that isn't all that comforting to women wondering if toxins are leaking from their chests and slowly killing them, and says it will "announce an action plan" by the end of the week. Sources say that officials have already decided to order that all of the implants be removed on the government's dime.
The liklihood that the procedures will be covered by state health insurance is a positive development, but we're talking about breast here, so there has to be some kind of slut-shaming kicker. One protester said the women's complaints aren't being taken seriously because they're "being dismissed as bimbos," and today Jean-Yves Grall, France's director general for health, showed that isn't true — for the roughly 20 percent who got the implants during reconstructive surgery after breast cancer. He explained that while the government will cover the cost of removal for all of the women, only breast cancer patients will have replacement surgery covered.
Laurent Lantieri, a cosmetic surgeon who's on the health department's committee, says, "This does not shock me ... It is not up to society, in a time of crisis, to pay for a new implant for aesthetic reasons." The move definitely isn't surprising, since most insurance companies will cover reconstructive surgery but not elective breast enhancement. However, it's frustrating that the government is saying it won't pay for a bunch of silly, superficial women to keep their breasts the same size they've been for years. Those harlots really should have thought of the potential consequences before getting implants made by a company that the government hadn't been properly regulating for at least a decade.
Image via Benko Zsolt/Shutterstock.