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Green party calls for free condoms for lowest earners in Germany

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Green party calls for free condoms for lowest earners in Germany
Condoms. Photo: DPA
15:15 CEST+02:00
The representatives of the Greens in the Bundestag (German parliament) have called for recipients of state support like Bafög, Hartz IV or housing subsidies to also have free access to contraceptives like the pill or condoms.

The Greens argue that in places like health counselling centres, condoms should be free of charge, reported the Saarbrücker Zeitung on Thursday.

In Germany, the pill is covered by health insurance for women up to the age of 20; after that there is no obligation for regional or state authorities to provide easy access to free contraceptives.

In the municipalities of Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg, expenses for the pill are voluntarily covered.

The Green party, however, have criticized these current models as they exclude many people and are “inconsistent and confusing". In two-thirds of Germany’s municipalities there is no coverage for contraception.

A study conducted by the Federal Centre of Health Education in Germany showed that women who receive state benefits are more likely to use less safe forms of contraception or simply do without. The representatives of the Greens in the Bundestag wrote that, as a result, these women are at higher risks of an unwanted pregnancy; a woman’s right to self-determination is infringed upon when she does not have equal access to contraceptive methods. 

The public health speaker for the Greens, Maria Klein-Schmeink, told the Saarbrücker Zeitung that “safe contraception must not be dependent on the size of your wallet." The motion states that condoms should be available for free alongside health authorities, family advisory services and AIDS assistance.

The Greens hope that the costs of the contraception will be compensated by health insurance funds. These costs would then in turn be reimbursed through a tax subsidy.

The Bundestag is set to decide on the motion sometime before the summer break.

SEE ALSO: Six things to know about women's rights in Germany

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