IFPA welcomes rollout of landmark scheme to 17-25s, saying it will empower young women, enabling them to choose the contraception that works best for them.
The IFPA welcomes today’s launch of the government’s landmark free contraception scheme, saying it will empower young women, enabling them to choose a contraceptive method based on effectiveness and personal needs, rather than affordability.
Commenting on the launch, IFPA Chief Executive, Niall Behan said: “Access to contraception and contraceptive choice have been central priorities for the IFPA since its foundation. This scheme is a really significant advance: 17 – 25-year-old women will no longer have to make contraceptive decisions based on cost. Their decisions will now be based solely on their individual needs, preferences and circumstances.”
Mr Behan continued: “We know from our services that this initiative will have an enormously positive impact on the health and well-being of thousands of women and girls. It is a crucial stepping-stone towards gender equality and reproductive autonomy in Ireland. We look forward to welcoming the first clients of the free contraception scheme through our clinic doors, from today.”
The IFPA provides a full range of contraceptive services at its clinics in Dublin city centre and Tallaght, including consultations on all available contraceptive options and the fitting of long-acting contraceptives such as coils and implants. All IFPA contraceptive services will now be free for 17 – 25-year-olds under the new government scheme.
Mr Behan added: “A robust public health awareness campaign is absolutely essential to the scheme’s success. People who are eligible for the scheme will need accessible information about all available methods, their pros and cons, and where and how they can access free contraception.”
Mr Behan concluded: “The Programme for Government commits to providing free contraception for all over a phased period. We look forward to a timeline for the full expansion of the scheme. Currently under 17s and over 25s without a medical card still have to pay for contraception, and high upfront costs for the most effective methods – coils and implants – makes them inaccessible to many. We know that some women and girls are forced to rely on less effective methods, or no method at all. Today is a major step forward for reproductive health and rights, but this ground-breaking scheme must be rapidly expanded to include all ages, so that no one is left behind.”
For press and media queries please contact Communications Officer Sophie Mac Neice on 086 7952167
- The IFPA is a leading provider of sexual and reproductive healthcare in Ireland. The organisation offers a comprehensive range of services including contraception, abortion care and specialist pregnancy counselling, which support reproductive choice on a not-for-profit basis. The organisation promotes the right of all people to comprehensive, specialist and affordable sexual and reproductive health information and services.
- The IFPA was established in 1969 by seven volunteers who were motivated by the harmful impact of the State’s blanket ban on contraception, and it has been at the vanguard of contraception provision ever since. The organisation has campaigned for decades on access to contraception and was crucial to the success of the 1973 Supreme Court case, McGee v The Attorney General, which paved the way for contraception to become legal in Ireland.