Media Advisory - December 1, 2022
AccessBC Campaign Launches Billboard Fundraising Campaign
November 25th to December 10th marks the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” and as part of their activism, the AccessBC Campaign for free prescription contraception has launched a campaign to raise funds to purchase billboards. The billboards will be installed in Vancouver near Premier Eby’s community office, and in Victoria along the Patricia Bay Highway.
“These billboards will remind the Premier that the BC NDP promised to make all prescription contraception free during the last election,” says Sophie Choong, high school student and Marketing Director for AccessBC. “The billboards will also bring visibility to the AccessBC campaign and mobilize people to write to the Premier and Minister of Health asking them to include free prescription contraception in the next provincial budget.”
“For the past 5 years, the AccessBC Campaign has been advocating for free prescription contraception, and this is our first foray into public advertising,” says Teale Phelps Bondaroff, AccessBC Campaign Chair and co-founder. “The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is a time when we must all step up to work towards a world without gender-based violence, and our goal with the billboard campaign is to reach and mobilize as wide a range of people as possible around free prescription contraception.”
Currently, an intrauterine device (IUD) can cost up to $380, oral contraceptive pills can cost $20 a month, the implant up to $350, and hormone injections up to $180 per year. These costs have been exacerbated by the pandemic and fall particularly on women and people who can get pregnant, making contraception incredibly difficult to access across the province.
Not only does universal no-cost prescription contraception make life more affordable for people, but it will also save the government millions. A 2010 study from Options for Sexual Health estimated that providing universal, no-cost contraception coverage in BC would would save the government as much as $95 million per year.
“People accessing prescription contraception face inordinate costs, and those fall disproportionately on people who can get pregnant,” says Choong. “A system that prevents people from accessing healthcare necessary to make reproductive choices is a violent system. Free prescription contraception is long overdue in BC.”