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IFPA welcomes groundbreaking studies and indicates support for new awareness campaign

By September 19, 2004News

– Release date: 20 September 2004

The Irish Family Planning Association has welcomed the two major studies launched today, 20th September, by the Crisis Pregnancy Agency and has indicated it’s full support for the Agency’s new Think Contraception awareness campaign.

Commenting at the launch Mr Niall Behan, IFPA Chief Executive stated, “These two groundbreaking studies back up what the IFPA has said for years. There is a clear need for more comprehensive sex education, better information on contraception and support for a change of the law in relation to abortion.

Better information with regard contraception

According to the IFPA’s Medical Director, Dr. Sheila Jones, “The IFPA are particularly concerned by the 50% reporting fears that the contraceptive pill was dangerous, and the two-thirds who felt that it was advisable to take a break from taking it. These myths must be challenged and health service providers, media and health promotion officers all have a role to play in that.”

“We need to build on the public’s current knowledge base, for example the ICCP study tells us that 96% of participants knew that emergency contraception existed but only 38% knew the correct time period to take it. The drop in the understanding of fertility is also something which needs to be addressed.”

More comprehensive sex education

Mr Behan added, “The studies show that people are becoming sexually active at a younger age, in fact the majority of young people now have had their first sexual experience by the age of 18, in response it is vital that young people receive comprehensive sex education at an earlier age”.

“The main reasons given in the ICCP study for contraceptive failure revolve around incorrect usage which is a direct result of inadequate sex education.”

Attitudes to Abortion

The ICCP Study shows that there is public support for a change in the law regarding abortion. “With 51% of respondents agreeing that abortion is permissible in all circumstances and a further 39% agreeing that abortion should be allowed under some circumstances there is a clear support for policy makers to move forward on changes in the law.”