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Free contraception in 2019

EDITED 6 Nov 2019: We have now sent our petition, with its over 600 signatures, to Simon Harris, Minister for Health. The Minister has now suggested that free contraception will have to wait until 2021, and we disagree. This issue cannot be pushed off again and again. We encourage you to call, write, and tweet your MPs and Minister Harris with your statement of urgency: free contraception when it was promised: in 2019!

The Joint Oireachtas Committee on the 8th Amendment endorsed an ancillary recommendation for the provision of free contraception to reduce the number of crisis pregnancies in Ireland.

We urgently need legislation in 2019 to ensure all methods of contraception are available for free. Sign our petition by clicking here.

At the end of 2018 Minister for Health Simon Harris said that he wanted to do everything he could to reduce crisis pregnancies including providing greater access to free contraception. He said that it would be a legislative priority in 2019 to make female contraception more widely available. [1]

The expense of accessing contraception can be prohibitive. Many women have neither medical cards nor funds for contraceptives, or emergency contraception. They also often have to pay for an initial doctor’s consultation as well as repeat appointments for prescription renewal.

The proposal for “expanded access” to condoms is welcome, people need to be able to avail of the best form of contraception for their bodies and situation.

Studies have shown that the main barrier to the most effective forms of contraception (vasectomy and long-acting reversible contraception choices like the coil, hormonal IUDs, and implants) is cost. These should be available post-abortion in order to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies in Ireland. [2][3]

We call on Minister Harris to ensure that any necessary research into the free access and free provision of all methods of contraception to the public is promptly undertaken, and necessary legislation introduced as soon as possible in 2019.

Please sign our petition to demand legislation now. 

[1] https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/vending-machines-may-be-used-to-distribute-free-condoms-says-hse-1.3745092

[2] https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7469/7a9ba355b793beb043663b28d7cd957ecfa5.pdf

[3] https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1016/j.ijgo.2014.03.003

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