General Election 2020: Where the parties stand on Contraception and Period Poverty 6 months ago

General Election 2020: Where the parties stand on Contraception and Period Poverty

On Saturday, February 8, the country will go to the polls for a General Election that seems to have been both coming for ages and happening all of a sudden. With new pledges and policy documents being launched almost every day, you could spend every waking hour between now and casting your vote reading and still not get through it all. (If you've actually done that, please do let us know!)

There's plenty of public discussion about the major issues, from housing to health, that affect us all. But what are the parties going to do on issues that are of particular interest to women?

To help you decide where to cast your vote, we identified some key issues for female voters and asked each of the major parties and political groupings for their stance. Their answers are listed below, in alphabetic order.

*We will continue to update the information as we receive answers from the parties and groupings. 

Does the party support the introduction of free contraception for all women irrespective of age, and if so, how would this be implemented?

Fianna Fáil

(No mention of issue in manifesto.)

Fine Gael

Fine Gael will deliver free contraception over a phased period, starting with women aged 17-25.

The Green Party

The Green Party supports all forms of contraception being provided free of charge for all people. Further to this, we support making any GP visits related to contraception also free of charge.

Labour

We want a universal system for free contraception for all women.

We have been advocating for a comprehensive provision of the full range of methods, including long acting reversible contraceptives such as the copper coil and implant, which would cost less in the long run than the provision of short-acting methods alone.

Evidence suggests that the overall cost to the State would fall year on year as women and girls switch to more reliable and cost-effective methods.

Sinn Féin

The party prioritises free contraceptives, in all forms, and emergency contraception

Social Democrats

Ensuring access to contraception is key to guaranteeing reproductive healthcare choice. We support universal contraception, which is free in most cases, and is readily available from a variety of sources designed to eliminate any stigma associated with their procurement.

A committee to tackle period poverty was set up last year. How would the party continue to address this issue?

Fianna Fáil

(No mention of issue in manifesto.)

Fine Gael

(No mention of issue in manifesto.)

The Green Party

To combat period poverty, the Green Party would ensure the provision of period products for free in schools, colleges, public buildings and to members of vulnerable groups. Where possible, environmentally friendly options would be provided.

Labour

Periods are not a luxury for women and girls. It’s a part of everyday life and we need to make life easier for those who may be in vulnerable positions.

Our candidate in Dublin South Central, Cllr Rebecca Moynihan has led the charge on this in Dublin City Council, and before Christmas secured €100,000 for period products to be made freely available in council buildings. We’d like to see this extended to all public buildings.

Sinn Féin

The party prioritises free provision of female hygiene products for students, those in DP, those in emergency accommodation, and those with a medical card

 

Social Democrats

Our health manifesto, which we launched last week, includes a commitment to fully funding a period poverty initiative.

Where does the party stand on the introduction of free sanitary products in public buildings, such as the Dáil?

Fianna Fáil

(No mention of issue in manifesto.)

Fine Gael

(No mention of issue in manifesto.)

The Green Party

The Green Party supports providing free period products in all public buildings. Our Deputy Leader Catherine Martin worked on this issue as Chair of the Oireachtas Women’s Caucus, which drafted and passed a motion on the issue of period poverty. One stipulation of that motion was the provision of free period products in all public buildings.

Labour

Yes, we’re in favour.

Sinn Féin

(No mention of issue in manifesto.)

Social Democrats

We support the introduction of free sanitary products in public buildings.