Access BC and Options for Sexual Health calls on the B.C. Government to include free birth control in the 2020 budget. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

B.C. urged to fund free prescriptions on World Contraception Day

Groups ask B.C. government to remove cost barriers to accessing birth control

In honour of World Contraception Day – which takes place on Sept. 26 annually – AccessBC and Options for Sexual Health are asking the B.C. government to make all forms of prescription birth free and to support health care sites in providing the full range of contraception options.

World Contraception Day raises awareness about contraception and safe sex. It also falls within the 2019 Canadian Gender Equality Week – Sept. 23-27. AccessBC and Options for Sexual Health argue that unencumbered access to contraception is not only empowering, but promotes equality and better overall health, encourages safe sex and will lower rates of unintended pregnancies which the groups say will save the province money.

READ ALSO: Sexual health is a core component of Vernon gynecologist’s practice

Access BC and Options for Sexual Health feel it’s time for B.C. to join other countries around the world and remove the cost barrier to contraception access by including provisions in the 2020 budget. Birth control pills cost about $20 per month and an intra-uterine device can cost between $75 and $380. Youth, minorities and folks with low incomes are disproportionately affected by the cost barriers, noted the groups in a joint statement. AccessBC and Options for Sexual Health feel that personal preference should guide people’s contraception choices rather than cost.

Michelle Fortion, executive director of Option for Sexual Health, noted that Canadian contraceptive care providers have identified cost as being the biggest barrier to access.

READ ALSO: Trans-inclusive practice in B.C. sexual health and abortion clinics

In a 2015 study of the cost of universal prescription drug coverage in Canada, it was noted that free contraception would cost the country $157-million. However, the money saved by avoiding the medical costs relating to unintended pregnancies would be about $320-million. According to Options for Sexual Health, B.C. alone could save an estimated $95-million per year if prescription birth control was funded by the province.

Teale Phelps Bondaroff, chair and co-Founder of AccessBC noted that people have a right to birth control and that cost shouldn’t be a barrier.

“Anyone should be able to exercise their right to say what happens to their body, and to decide when – or if – they have children,” said Phelps Bondaroff, a Saanich-based researcher.

Those interested in writing to their MLA can submit a letter via the AccessBC website.


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bus rider who travelled to Golden tests positive for COVID-19

The passenger travelled from Calgary to Golden on March 15

Easter bunny to send ambassador to Golden for weekend drive-by

The Easter bunny will be sending his emissary, Egglebert Bunny, to celebrate Easter with Golden

Frustrated MLA begs out of province visitors to stay home

Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok doesn’t understand why people aren’t listening to good advice

Golden Facebook group attracts 400 volunteers looking to help during COVID-19

The group, which was created on March 15, has already amassed over 400 volunteers

Golden Rockets’ Turner commits to University of Victoria

The 20 year old had 16 goals in 31 regular season games this season

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Blasting through the West Kootenay

80 years ago; ‘Pretty near all the people from Fruitvale were working on it’

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

Most Read