The Junior Health Minister claims offering free contraception to under 17s could have led to legal challenges.
As part of Budget 2022, women aged 17 to 25 will get free access to contraception from August next year.
Ministers were asked at a press conference this afternoon why the measure doesn't include under 17s, as is the case in France.
However, Junior Minister Mary Butler couldn't say whether the Department sought legal advice on the issue.
She said, "we could run into legalistic challenges if we were to ensure that it was free at the point of access for people who were under the age of 17."