Up-to-date education and free access to contraception needed now to reduce crisis pregnancies.
Many factors impact on whether a person uses contraception and it is undeniable that the ability to access contraceptive supplies and services is an important issue in determining use.
Speaking on The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018, Senator Anthony Lawlor has said that “up-to-date sexual health education in schools and the introduction of free contraception needs to be implemented without delay.”
In the last Irish Contraception and Crisis Pregnancy Study (2010), for women, 1 in every 7 pregnancies was a crisis pregnancy decreasing with age. For men, 1 in every 11 pregnancies was a crisis pregnancy also decreasing with age.
Younger women or women with a pre-Leaving Certificate education are more likely than older women or women with higher levels of education to have experienced a crisis pregnancy.
For men and women, “not planned” and “too young” were the most common reasons why the pregnancy was viewed as a crisis. Financial reasons were also cited in 10% approx. of cases.
Senator Lawlor said that “the timeline for the rollout of free contraception and integrated primary care for people which provides access to counselling, contraception and perinatal care must coincide with the abortion services in January.”
“Sexual health education in schools needs to be up-dated and taught in a way which reflects modern life and the life of teenagers. Many people have no difficulty in accessing contraception however factors such as access due to locality, embarrassment and cost put some people at risk. Education and free access can help mitigate these risks.”
“Many people now prefer to access contraception in pharmacies rather than the GP. There is an issue of access to GP’s in some rural areas this approach is something we should consider.”