Supplying contraception to 16-year-olds is an 'inherent contradiction' when the age of consent in Ireland is 17.
That's according to Dr Pádraig MacNeela, active consent programme co-lead at the University of Galway.
He was responding as changes in Budget 2023 saw the expansion of free contraception to women aged between 16 and 30.
Dr MacNeela told Newstalk Breakfast things should change.
"I suppose there is a contradiction there inherently anyway - because the age of consent for medical procedures is 16 in the first place.
"That's going to be in there anyway, I suppose this new development adds to that.
"And maybe brings into sharper relief just that contradiction between what happens in your healthcare, and what could happen on a legal side."
He said Ireland is out of line with other European Union states, which have the age consent at between 14 and 16.
"You've got other pressures as well: we know from the last HBSC national survey in 2018... that a quarter of 15 to 17-year-olds are sexcually active.
"So your laws should reflect what people are doing.
"In addition, then, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has also said that we should avoid criminalising adolescents.
"[It] has called for provision of appropriate reproductive health services as well for adolescents.
"So all of that would be pushing you".
He added that the age of consent is a legal issue, whereas contraception is a bio-medical one.
"My primary concern would be around the emotional relationship education.
"We know a majority of young people that we work with in active consent programmes say that they're not satisfied with the sex education that they receive in school - in particular around relationships and consent".