Given that we’re all tightening our belts at the moment, and the Government (soon to be ex-Government if my vote has any say in it) has admitted that there will have to be budget cuts, may I suggest the following proposals for ways that the Department of Health could save money?
- Remove the entitlement to free abortions unless the life of the mother is in physical danger. By all means permit women to have abortions under the current law, but given that couples on the whole chose to have sex they should take upon themselves the financial consequences of their actions. If they choose to terminate a pregnancy because of issues with the child which are not life-threatening (e.g. Downs), then once again they should be responsible financially for that decision. Certainly, if they are having an abortion for social reasons then why should the State pay?
In the UK they are about 200,000 abortions a year, costing on average £400 – a saving of £80 million.
- Remove the entitlement to a free prescription for the contraceptive pill. By all means allow women to have the pill prescribed, but given that we need to be responsible for our sex lives, why should I have to pay for someone else’s family planning? Granted, some women are prescribed the pill for medical reasons, but once again, we don’t exempt others from prescription charges unless they have a specific medical exemption because of a potentially terminal condition.
3.5 million women take the pill and once they have established which one is suitable for them, prescriptions are written on average for 6 months worth. Prescription charges are currently £7.20 in England and Wales so the total saving (on a conservative estimate) in one year would be c. £50 million
There you are – £130 million worth of savings, just by encouraging people to be responsible for their own sex lives.