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13th Sep 2022

Free contraception for women aged 17-25 comes into effect tomorrow

Sarah McKenna Barry

The scheme will cover the cost of prescription contraception, as well as other long-lasting measures.

In accordance with last year’s budget, the rollout of free contraception for women between the ages of 17 and 25 is expected to begin tomorrow.

Women in this age bracket will be able to avail of the service through their GP, though, as the Irish Examiner reports, it will be up to the individual practices to sign up for the scheme.

A source told the paper that while there have been “teething issues” with the programme, the plan is to have it up and running by tomorrow, Wednesday 14 September.

It’s understood that the scheme will cover the cost of prescription contraception, which can amount to over €200 every year. It will also cover the cost of emergency contraception, and the fitting and removal of long-lasting contraception options, such as implants, injections, IUDs and the contraceptive patch.

Additionally, the scheme will cover the costs associated with consultations and appointments.

While the scheme has been welcomed by some, many have claimed that by restricting access to women in a certain age-bracket, it falls short.

Last year, when the package was first announced, People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy described the age restrictions as “disgraceful and sexist”.

He said: “People over the age of 25 also have sex and don’t all want to have children.

“But most importantly, why on Earth is it being made solely the woman’s responsibility to look after contraception? Why is not for example also going to apply to condoms, which not only prevent pregnancy, but also tackle STIs? This should be corrected now and the Free Contraception Plan should be open to all.”

It’s understood that the Government will unveil further details of the Free Contraception Plan, and that details will be provided on the Citizen’s Information website.