Following Tuesday’s budget announcement, British Columbia will be the first province in Canada to make prescription birth control free for all residents.
The province says its free prescription contraceptive program will begin on April 1st. The program will cost the province $119 million over the next three years.
Finance Minister Katrine Conroy said the program will include oral hormone pills, contraceptive injections, copper and hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs), subdermal implants and Plan B (also known as the morning-after pill).
Free contraceptives will save the average person up to about $300 a year in savings, and as much as $10,000 over a person’s lifetime.
We did it!! Free universal prescription contraception was included in the 2023 BC Provincial Budget and will be available for all British Columbians starting April 1st!! 🥳🎉🎈
— AccessBC Campaign for Free Contraception (@AccessBC) February 28, 2023
“As the mother of two daughters and five granddaughters, I know the effect this is going to have on people’s lives in our province,” said Conroy.
“This is a win for health, and it’s a win for gender equity in our province.”
Those looking to access free contraception, residents covered under MSP will need to get a prescription from a family physician, then take it to their pharmacist with their MSP card to get it filled.
The free contraception will be available for all women, transgender and non-binary people.