AccessBC pushes province to adopt free contraception
Published Wednesday, January 15, 2020 9:27AM PST
AccessBC wants the government to provide universal free contraceptives to people that need them. (File photo)
VICTORIA -- A B.C. organization is asking the provincial government to remove barriers to accessing prescription contraception.
AccessBC wants the government to provide universal free contraceptives to people that need them.
Cost remains a significant barrier for many women accessing contraception, says the organization.
"If you can't access prescription contraceptives, you have a higher rate of unplanned pregnancies and what that means is you have derailed life plans, increased personal costs," says Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff, co-founder and chair of AccessBC.
"Those costs also go onto the province in the form of health-care costs."
For example, an intra-uterine device (IUD) can cost between $75 and $380, oral contraceptive pills can cost $20 per month, and hormone injections can cost as much as $180 per year.
AccessBC says those costs represent a significant barrier for young women, women with low incomes and women from marginalized communities.
Phelps Bondaroff points to a 2010 study from Options for Sexual Health that found that a B.C. policy that made all prescription contraceptives available at no cost would save the government $90 million a year in direct medical costs.
AccessBC wants to see the changes adopted in the 2020 budget in February.
They are also asking people to write their MLAs encouraging them to adopt the policy.