top of page

Press Release  - November 22, 2023

Birth Control Access Manitoba Celebrates Government’s Commitment to Free Prescription Contraception


Birth Control Access Manitoba is celebrating the government of Manitoba’s commitment to making prescription contraception free.

On Tuesday, November 22, the provincial government announced in its Speech from the Throne that it would be making prescription contraception free. While the Throne Speech did not include details, the Manitoba NDP’s election platform included a promise to “cover the full cost of dozens of commonly used birth-control methods, including oral contraceptives, copper and hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs), hormonal injections and the morning-after pill.”

“Today's announcement is a victory for gender equality and reproductive justice in Manitoba. This is going to have enormous impacts for patients and health care providers across the province,” said Dr. Helen Pymar, Co-Founder of Birth Control Access Manitoba. “We’re elated that Manitoba has made reproductive justice a priority in this government's first Speech from the Throne.”  

“Cost is consistently identified as a significant barrier preventing people from accessing the contraception of their choice. When cost is removed as a barrier, people increasingly reach for more reliable forms of contraception, like long-acting reversible options, including IUDs and implants,” said Dr. Pymar. “This policy will significantly streamline the process, allowing patients to access contraception immediately and removing a burden from healthcare practitioners.”

“Free prescription contraception is a fantastic policy that improves health outcomes, makes life more affordable, increases equality, and saves governments money,” said Dr. Sabrina Lee, Birth Control Access Manitoba. “There is a growing movement for free prescription contraception across Canada, and Wab Kinew, Uzoma Asagwara, Nahanni Fontaine, and the Manitoba NDP are showing incredible leadership when it comes to standing up for reproductive justice.”

The cost of prescription contraception can be significant, and falls disproportionately on women and people who can get pregnant. A hormonal IUD can cost $500, an implant $350, oral contraceptive pills cost at least $240 per year, and hormone injections as much as $180 per year. In addition to helping prevent unplanned pregnancies, people take contraception for a wide range of reasons, including treating chronic gynaecological conditions, like ovarian cysts and endometriosis, and gender affirming care. 

Manitoba will become the second province in Canada to make prescription contraception free, following British Columbia, which rolled out the policy in April 2023. Studies have found that free prescription contraception is a revenue-positive policy. A 2010 study by Options for Sexual Health estimated that making contraception free in British Columbia would save that province $95 million a year. 

"This is fantastic news for Manitoba and folks who have experienced barriers to this fundamental right for far too long,” said Kennadie Chaudhary, Birth Control Access Manitoba Campaign Volunteer and former AccessBC Campaign Coordinator. “I am glad to see the government support the reproductive health of Manitobans and hope to see an expansive roll out of this policy in the near future." 

“In British Columbia we've seen how impactful free contraception has been, with more than 166,000 people able to access this basic healthcare since the policy was implemented,” said Devon Black, Co-Founder and National Liaison for AccessBC, the campaign that successfully advocated for free prescription contraception in BC. “We're thrilled at the success of our fellow advocates in Manitoba, and we look forward to when free contraception becomes a reality across Canada.”

In the Throne Speech, Lt.-Gov. Anita Neville said the following:

“Reproductive health care is a right. Our government will protect and affirm Manitobans’ right to access abortion services, protect abortion providers and make prescription birth control free.”



Birth Control Access Manitoba is a grassroots province-wide campaign that advocates for universal no-cost prescription contraception in Manitoba. It was founded in 2021 and has flourished with support from AccessBC. As the second province in Canada to have universal no-cost contraception, we will support other Canadian provinces and territories in their campaigns for reproductive justice.


Contraception - AccessBC (5).JPG
bottom of page