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Health Services Provision

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 16 December 2020

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Questions (286)

Bríd Smith


286. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health his plans to implement the recommendations of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution report relating to freely available contraception; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43652/20]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

A Working Group was established in April 2019 to consider the range of policy, regulatory and legislative issues arising in relation to improving access to contraception in Ireland. The Group’s report, which was published in October 2019, identified the barriers that exist to accessing contraception and the mechanisms available to overcome those barriers.

Following the report, it was clear that a sizable body of work would need to be addressed in order to develop and finalise the policy approach, bring forward the necessary legislative proposals and ensure the implementation of service delivery arrangements. The need to focus on and prioritise the response to the current pandemic has delayed progress on this issue during 2020.

The Programme for Government includes a commitment to expand access to free contraception for women aged 17-25. The Minister is committed to promoting Women’s Health and Wellbeing, and significant funding to promote women’s health was announced as part of Budget 2021.