Women should have access to free contraceptives.
A large percentage of women have taken a contraceptive at some time in their life. Birth control allows women to be independent and gives them a choice of when and if they want to have children.
Pregnancy comes with risks but if unplanned it can be even more risky. Women who do not know that they are pregnant run the risk of having consumed tobacco, alcohol, caffeine and other substances.
Women who have unplanned pregnancies are less likely to have any prenatal care in early pregnancy, as they are unaware they are even pregnant. Some surveys have credited birth control allowing woman to take better care of themselves or their families. Allowing a woman to support herself financially and continue with her education.
The number one reason given as to why women wanted contraceptives was that they could not afford to have a baby right now.
There is a number of methods of contraception available today, long acting reversible contraception (LARC) are available in Australia and have a much higher efficacy rates than the pill or condoms, however they can have high upfront costs associated with insertion and while significant work is being undertaken by sexual and reproductive health advocacy bodies and service providers, uptake of LARC methods in Australia is still relatively low compared to other developed countries.
The pill can also be financially draining and costly when trying different brands to find one that works with your body. Expanding access to all contraception by making them free and easily available would greatly assist in lowering the rate of unplanned pregnancy in Australia.
It can improve women’s health through empowerment. Women should not be disadvantaged by the possibility of pregnancy just because they can’t afford contraceptives. Other countries offer this service so why not Australia. I would also like us to follow in the footsteps of other countries and provide free sanitary products in schools, universities, pubs and clubs.