The Labour Party is promising women free contraceptives, free tampons and free menstrual pads in schools as well as a broader breast cancer screening program, should the party be re-elected to government. 

The proposals were announced by party president Ramona Attard during One's programme Espresso on Tuesday morning. 

Attard said the measures are part of a "wider package" which will be explained in the coming days.

The party also promised to lower the age for women’s breast cancer screening to 45 years. Currently, breast screening is offered to all women aged between 50 and 69 every two-and-a-half years. 

The contraceptive and morning after pills will also be distributed free of charge by all pharmacies and health centres. The intrauterine contraceptive device will also be offered free of charge, Attard said.

It also promised free distribution of menstrual products in schools to remove the stigma associated with periods. 

The issue of free contraceptive pills was proposed by the Malta Women's Lobby in its 'femifesto' proposals for the election.

Labour's Tuesday proposals follow others aimed at women and mentioned by Prime Minister Robert Abela on Monday, including to encourage women over 40 to join the workforce. 

The Nationalist party has also promised free contraceptive and morning-after pills as part of a sexual health strategy it would deliver within six months of being elected. 

IVF for couples who travel abroad

In an event to celebrate International Women's Day, PN leader Bernard Grech said the PN would also cover IVF treatment for couples who travel abroad for the service.

He said many couples are travelling abroad to countries such as Cyprus for IVF treatment, as the success rate is higher there than in Malta.“These couples are spending thousands to travel for this treatment, but know the success rate is higher,” he said.

He said apart from providing free IVF treatment to couples in Malta, the Nationalist Party will also cover expenses for those couples carrying out IVF services abroad.

The Labour Party has pledged to widen IVF treatment and services to more couples. Health Minister Chris Fearne promised how pledges on IVF will become reality within the first 100 days of a new government. 

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us