An advocacy group in British Columbia is continuing to fight for free contraception after funding for no cost birth control was ostensibly missing from the province’s 2020 budget.
In a statement shared on February 18th, the Access BC team said they were disappointed to find no government commitment to reducing the cost of contraception in the province, calling the budget a “missed opportunity”.
“Providing universal, no-cost contraception coverage isn’t just good public health policy,” said AccessBC co-founder Devon Black.
“It’s also good fiscal policy, as we’ve seen over and over in jurisdictions where this kind of policy has been implemented.”
As part of their argument, the group cites a 2010 study conducted by Options for Sexual Health which found that universal birth control coverage would cost the province around $50 million but could save up to $95 million per year.
These figures are supported by statistics from countries like the UK, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany, where contraception prescriptions are funded fully or in part.
“We’ve heard very clearly from BC residents that this policy is something they want,” said AccessBC co-founder Teale Phelps Bondaroff.
“Contraception costs hit people in their wallets, but people also recognize that this is an equality issue, since contraception costs are so much higher for people with uteruses.”
The group adds that while the NDP government has made significant strides to achieve gender equality, the issue of contraception is where they fall behind.
In spite of the disappointment, AccessBC continues to call on the provincial government to make all forms of prescription contraception universally accessible at no cost for any citizen.
— Access Birth Control (@AccessBC) February 19, 2020