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Family Federation: Young should get free birth control

The Family Federation of Finland says that many young people cannot afford safe sex and should be provided with free contraception. It points to lower rates of teenage pregnancies and STDs in areas where contraceptives are available free of charge as an example of the positive impact this could make nationwide.

Image: Helena von Alfthan / Yle

“It is usually the young people who need contraceptives the most who don’t use them,” points out Tuulia Råmark, Development Director at the Family Federation of Finland, a welfare organization working in the social and health sector. 

According Råmark younger people in more disadvantaged social and economic situations are those who are least likely to use contraception.

In order to be most effective, she argues, contraception campaigns need to be aimed at high school students. 

The Family Federation says that free contraception does not lead to young people having sex more often, or behaving more irresponsibly in sexual matters. The evidence points in the opposite direction.

Municipalities that already offer young people contraceptives free of charge have seen the number of teenage pregnancies and the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases decline. This has meant cost savings in public health care sector.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has funded a campaign which is distributing 65,000 condoms and an information sheet to eighth-graders this autumn. The campaign is aimed at educating teens in the use of condoms in preventing the spread of STDs.

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