“Please pay me €0.60 for ‘birth control during our one night stand.'”
We’ve seen some pretty ridiculous Tikkie payment requests in our time, so luckily this one is fake. But, as Gerieke Prins (25) asks: if two consenting adults choose to have sex with one another, why is only one of them responsible for the cost of birth control?
Over 7,000 Dutch people agree that the current situation is unfair — so they’re taking it to court in an attempt to get free contraception in the Netherlands, reports RTL Nieuws.
Now you see it, now you don’t
Free contraception wouldn’t be a first for the Netherlands: in the early 1970s, it was already implemented. However, in 2011, it was snatched away again. The so-called progressive Netherlands removed the pill from being included under basic, mandatory health insurance.
Why? The government deemed it was not “medically necessary.” 🤨
An unwanted barrier
While the streets of Amsterdam’s city centre often give the impression that the whole of the Netherlands is liberal, the reality is far different. The Netherland plays host to its very own Bible Belt, stretching through Zeeland in the southwest and through to Overijssel in the northeast.
Co-plaintiff in the lawsuit, Gerieke, grew up in the Bible Belt and was never taught about contraception in school. “I first talked about it with my GP when I was nineteen,” she tells RTL Nieuws.
She still has friends from back home that don’t use it, some of whom have already had children — often earlier than they planned.
When she talks to her friends about contraception she can tell that they don’t know about what options are available. “That’s okay, but then the price doesn’t help,” explains Gerieke. “The whole process is already confusing for them. Then they think: never mind.”
A right for women
The attempt comes from several women’s organizations who argue that women won’t have a fair chance to fully participate in society until free contraception is possible. Around 7,300 co-plaintiffs have joined the suit.
It follows a 2019 petition that was signed by 55,000 people — but failed because the House of Representatives did not adopt the proposal.
Next, a summons was handed to then Minister of Health Bruno Bruins in February 2020. Finally, today comes the hearing of the lawsuit in the court of The Hague. A demonstration will take place beforehand.
Do you believe that contraception should be free? Tell us your opinion in the comments below!
Feature Image: Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition/Unsplash