New research from the expert Advisory Group on Contraception (AGC), has found that local authority commissioned contraception services are having to cut services and introduce restrictions in many parts of England. The report 'Private lives, Public health: The changing shape of contraceptive services in England post-2013', is available online here.
A bpas spokesperson said:
“We regularly speak with women who have experienced difficulties accessing contraception, and this report provides clear evidence that these aren’t isolated cases. One-third of women are living in areas where contraceptive services are restricted. It’s hard to imagine that this would be tolerated if this were any other aspect of healthcare. Nearly all women will need access to contraception at some point in their lives, and as the age of motherhood currently stands at a record high, women will need contraception for an even greater proportion of their reproductive lives.
"Services should be protected in a way that acknowledges the important role contraception plays in women’s lives and their health. Not only are services being shut down, but women who do manage to access a clinic are they are then being denied the full range of options on the basis of cost – including some of the most effective methods. Women should not have to “put up” with a method of contraception that does not work for them, and we should take women’s concerns about the side-effects of different methods seriously.
"Cutting contraceptive services is a completely false economy. There is clear evidence that any “savings” made actually cost significantly more in the long-term – contraception is an investment, not a luxury. We appreciate that local councils are in a very difficult position because cuts to their own budgets. Therefore we fully support the Advisory Group on Contraception’s call for the government to review commissioning arrangements for contraceptive services.”
For more information please contact the bpas press office on 0207 061 3377 07788 725 185, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
bpas is a charity which sees more than 70,000 women a year and provides reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception, at clinics across the UK. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. More information can be found at bpas.org