NZ Herald 8 May 2012
Women on benefits – including teenagers and the daughters of beneficiaries – will be offered free long-term contraception as part of a $287.5 million Budget package for the Government’s welfare reforms. One critic says the measure borders on state control of women’s reproductive choices. Social Development Minister Paula Bennett and Prime Minister John Key announced the package yesterday, aimed at supporting beneficiaries to get into training or work. It includes $1 million to pay for long-term contraception measures such as implants or intra-uterine devices. The payment for contraception will be offered to teenagers on benefits from July. From October, it will be offered to all women on benefits, and their daughters aged 16 to 19. Yesterday, Ms Bennett said the funding for the reforms would be heavily targeted at youth and teen parents, who were most at risk of staying on benefits long term and having more children while on welfare.