House of Lords written question – answered on 4th July 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Gould of Potternewton Baroness Gould of Potternewton Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of restrictions in access to contraception services in England; and how they will ensure that women of all ages in England are able to access a choice of contraception.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Government recognise that easy access to the full range of contraception provision is an important part of health care, helping people to make informed decisions about how to avoid unintended pregnancy and plan their families.

Current legislation requires primary care trusts (PCTs) to provide open-access contraception services for all people in their local areas, and to provide reasonable access to all methods of contraception. It is for PCTs, with their knowledge of local need, to determine how they can best fulfil these legislative requirements.

From 1 April 2013, local authorities will, through secondary legislation, be mandated to commission comprehensive, open access contraception advice and services, and confidential open-access testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, similar to those currently commissioned by PCTs.

The Government will be publishing their sexual health policy document later this year which will set out the evidence base for how all sexual health provision can be improved.

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