The rollout of free contraception is expected to be announced in next week’s budget.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly is understood to have been battling in Budget negotiations to ensure that there was funding for free contraceptive distribution available to women.
Describing women’s health as a “big priority” to himself, Donnelly spoke to RTÉ two weeks ago where he said that he wants to see the rollout of funding for free contraception by next year.
In relation to women’s health, the government’s key promise in the programme is for free contraception to be made available.
The Green Party’s spokesperson for health TD Neasa Hourigan called for free contraception, stating that it’s “about giving people, regardless of their financial means, complete control over their own bodies and lives – whether to have children and when to have them”.
She stated, “We negotiated to include this commitment in the Programme for Government and now we need to deliver on that commitment,”.
The Department of Health had previously advised that instead of giving everyone free access to contraception, a state-funded scheme should be focused on providing free contraception to young women first.
The government highlighted that young women and vulnerable groups should be prioritised when free contraception is being given.
A small report that was presented to the government last year, revealed that free contraception for all women aged 17-25 in Budget 2022 would cost the state about €10 million per year.
IMAGE (left) – Stephen Donnelly (via Twitter)