The government took a decision today to move forward with a key Green Party Programme for Government commitment to provide free contraception on a phased basis, beginning with women aged 17 to 25.
Cabinet approved an amendment to the Health (Exemptions from Charges for Acute In-Patient Services) Bill 2022 which will insert provisions to provide for the free contraception for young women.
Green Party Senator Pauline O’Reilly said: “It is 18 months since the Green Party’s motion to provide free contraception passed in the Seanad.
“Given the history of the State with regard to women, women are now owed proper healthcare and I am delighted that we are taking the next step today. A huge leap forward was made when we, as a nation, repealed the eighth amendment of the Constitution but if we are truly a progressive country it is time to deal with other aspects of reproductive care.
“For women in particular, the right forms of contraception can be very expensive, costing hundreds of euro. We need to see each woman receive the right form of contraception for her, allowing her to keep safe and preventing crisis pregnancies.
“A 2020 report from the Dublin Well Woman Centre demonstrated that 51 per cent of women aged 17 to 45 have had sexual intercourse without using contraception. Some women do not have access to funds, while others do not prioritise themselves when setting family budgets. It is time to tear down the barriers and to allow every woman equal access.”
The Health (Exemptions from Charges for Acute In-Patient Services) Bill 2022 will be published in the coming days and is expected to commence in the Dáil shortly thereafter.
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