Victoria City Council has passed a motion calling on the Provincial Government to cover the cost of all prescription contraception in BC.
In a press release from AccessBC, the organization behind the campaign, they outline that the motion asks for prescription contraception to become a universal health care service in BC and that it should be available at no cost to residents.
“Universal coverage of contraception will improve equity and health outcomes. I’ve heard from many residents in our community that this policy is a priority and I’m proud to stand beside them,” said Councillor Jeremy Loveday in the release.
According to AccessBC’s release, a 2010 study estimated that no-cost contraception coverage in BC would cost approximately $50 million, but would save as much as $95 million per year based on patterns seen in other countries with full coverage like the UK and France.
“This policy is about equality,” said Devon Black, co-founder of AccessBC. “Vasectomies are covered by BC’s Medical Services Plan and condoms are handed out for free, but contraception for people with uteruses can still cost hundreds of dollars. That’s not something that is acceptable in 2020.”
AccessBC said that an intrauterine device (IUD) can cost $75 to $380, oral contraceptive pills can cost $20 per month, and hormone injections as much as $180 per year. The campaign press release emphasizes that these costs cause a significant barrier for some BC residents.
“We are in an affordability crisis, and people should not have to choose between paying rent and accessing the contraception they need to make decisions about their bodies. This policy will save people and the government money,” said Councillor Sarah Potts. “I am grateful to the community members who have brought this forward. Access to contraception is a truly equalizing act that I am proud to support.”
In the motion, it is outlined that these services would be available under the Medical Services Plan.
With files to AccessBC