As part of measures announced in Budget 2022, the Irish government will be providing young adult women aged 17 to 25 free contraception by the end of next summer.
Positive measures for women
The minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath, made the announcement that a women's health package worth €31 million was to be set in place to finance the new scheme. Niall Behan, Irish Family Planning Association CEO, said that efforts to remove all costs related to female contraception will allow young women to have more liberty in choosing the best method to prevent unwanted pregnancy. He explained:
The high upfront cost of the most effective long-lasting contraceptives makes them inaccessible to many women, who are currently forced to rely on less effective methods, or no method at all.
Addressing period poverty
In addition to free contraception, period poverty will also be tackled, as reported by Homeless Period Ireland.
According to the National Strategy for Women and Girls Strategy Committee, the importance of further addressing period poverty is crucial for the everyday lives of people who can menstruate.
The organization explains that period poverty can be conducive to an array of adverse consequences to women of all background, including: the inability to perform every day activities during menstruation and physical and mental impacts from the lack of access and unsuitable use of period products. They said:
We look forward to seeing how and when this funding will be allocated as those in need cannot afford to wait.