A Working Group has been established to consider the range of policy, regulatory and legislative issues arising in relation to improving access to contraception. The group is working to the following Terms of Reference:
- To conduct a rapid review of national and international literature on contraception and associated issues;
- To specifically examine the extent to which cost is a barrier to accessing reliable methods of contraception in Ireland and to consider whether there are other factors influencing access to contraception that could be addressed;
- To examine mechanisms to address any access issues identified, including financial, legislative, regulatory and contractual issues, as well as any other relevant matters;
- To consult with relevant stakeholders; and
- To make recommendations to the Minister on the optimal policy options and next steps.
A public consultation process is ongoing, and the Group is also engaged in research, including consideration of potential cost issues. The Group will continue its deliberations over the coming weeks before reporting to the Minister at the end of September.