10 May 2012

Contraceptive plan will pay for promiscuous women - Craig

7:46 am on 10 May 2012

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig says taxpayers should not be picking up the tab for what he says are the most promiscuous young women in the world to get free contraceptives.

The Government has set aside $1 million over the next four years to subsidise medical appointments to arrange contraception or intra-uterine devices for women on a benefit and their teenage daughters.

The subsidy will be available to female dependants of beneficiaries aged 16 to 18 from July this year and for all other female beneficiaries from mid-October.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says it is about family planning and offering choice.

But Colin Craig says it is not a choice, because they are asking someone else to pick up the tab.

"Why should, say, a 70-year-old who's had one partner all their life be paying for a young woman to sleep around?

"We are the country with the most promiscuous young women in the world. This does nothing to help us at all."

Prime Minister John Key says there is no credible evidence to back up Mr Craig's claim that New Zealand women are the most promiscuous in the world and it is common sense for the Government to provide support to woman.

Medical Association chairman Paul Ockelford said the initiative will give women a real choice in managing their fertility.

Dr Ockelford says costs associated with longer-acting contraception that requires some form of procedure can be a disincentive.

Family Planning chief executive Jackie Edmond says Mr Craig's comments are based on an online survey and are disappointing.

Ms Edmond says there is no credible research on the issue and labelling young women as promiscuous without mentioning their male counterparts sets a double standard.

Offering woman choice and services to improve sexual health is money well spent, she believes.