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13th Sep 2022

17-25 year old women can avail of free contraception as of this week

Katy Thornton

free contraception

The Free Contraception Scheme comes in as of Wednesday 14th September.

Last October Minister Stephen Donnelly secured free contraception for women aged between 17 and 25 in the 2022 Budget. The time to implement it has finally arrived; as of tomorrow, hospital charges for under 16s, as well as contraception charges for women in the above age bracket will be scrapped.

According to the Department of Health, Donnelly says this of the new measures:

Abolishing acute in-patient hospital charges for children under 16 is focused towards easing the financial burden of parents or guardians when bringing their child to hospital for in-patient care. Free contraception is a cost-effective measure, reducing both crisis pregnancy and termination of pregnancy rates.”

The scheme focuses on prescription contraception, including the following.

  • Necessary consultations with medical staff
  • Fitting and removal of long-acting contraceptive items
  • Wide range of contraceptions, including IUDs, injection, implants, the patch and ring, the pill
  • Emergency contraception

The cost of GP visits and purchasing contraception creates a huge barrier for younger women to access it. According to the Department of Health:

Costs for the Pill and similar repeat prescription contraceptives can therefore be estimated at €65-100 every six months, and the initial costs of long-acting reversible contraception, including consultation, purchase of the device and fitting, typically range from €250-€320.”

Providing free contraception will go a long way in allowing young women to access it.

While this is a step in the right direction, there are issues with the scheme. The National Women’s Council is hoping for an expansion on the current scheme to include women older than 25, according to The Irish Examiner.

You can read more about both schemes HERE.

Header image via Shutterstock

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