Press Release - September 15, 2021

Frontline Healthcare Workers Call for Universal Free Contraception

 

The AccessBC Campaign for free prescription contraception is launching a social media campaign as it gears up for World Contraception Day, on September 26, 2021. AccessBC is asking participants to share a photo of themselves with a sign declaring why they support universal no-cost prescription contraception.  

These photos are then shared on their personal social media platforms either by themselves using @accessbc #WCD2021 and/or sent to AccessBC.WCD@gmail.com for posting. The AccessBC Social Media Team then amplifies the message and ensures elected officials are tagged in said posts. Frontline health care workers see how barriers to accessing contraception such as cost can lead to unintended pregnancies and affect people’s lives. 

Dr. Ruth Habte, an OBGYN Resident Physician and AccessBC Campaign Organizer, geared up while in scrubs with a sign that reads, “I am an OBGYN Resident and I support free prescription contraception because I believe in pregnancy and children by choice, not by chance.”  

Currently, an intrauterine device (IUD) can cost $75 to $425, the contraceptive implant can cost $350, oral contraceptive pills can cost $15-35 per month, and hormone injections as much as $180 per year. These costs are a significant barrier to accessing contraception for many people in BC, and fall particularly on women and people who can get pregnant. The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the ability for folks to access prescription contraception, cost should never be the deciding factor in reproductive health.

 

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“I am a medical student and I support free prescription contraception because I believe in equitable and inclusive healthcare for everyone,'' says a sign held by Marisa Levesque, a UBC Medical Student.

 

“Access to contraception is an issue of equity – barriers to access such as cost fall disproportionately on people with uteruses, and more significantly affect those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged,” said Marisa Levesque, UBC medical student and AccessBC member.  “Allowing all people to make choices about if and when they have children promotes gender equity in areas such as educational attainment and lifetime earnings.” 

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“I am a family physician and I support free prescription contraception because the power to choose should NOT depend on your income,” says a sign held by Dr. Sarah Malleson. 

No cost contraception also has important preventative health and wellness benefits, including treating things like heavy menstrual bleeding and pain, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, uterine fibroids and even reducing the risks of some types of cancer.

 

Free contraception will prevent serious health problems, save vast amounts of health care dollars, and give people the power to shape their lives.

 

Emily Wiesenthal, a third year medical student at UBC, holds up a sign that reads “Free Prescription Contraception = Health Equity.” 

 

The social media campaign launched September 13, 2021 and will run until World Contraception Day on September 26, 2021. Posts from the general public are accepted and encouraged!