Media

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Abortion rights supporters in Vancouver rally in solidarity over post-Roe American future

CityNews, Vancouver
May 14, 2
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The spotlight on the access to safe abortion in the U.S. has motivated abortion rights supporters in Vancouver to march and rally to express their outrage.

“I’m here in solidarity with all of the women and people with uteruses who are being denied their basic right and need to access abortion care,” one demonstrator tells CityNews.

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March for Life in Victoria attracts hundreds amid U.S. abortion debate

CTV News, Vancouver
May 12, 2
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Advocates fighting for better access to abortions and contraception point out while abortion is legal, many barriers still exist when it comes to reproductive rights. Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaraff is a co-founder of Access B.C. He said the costs for contraception can be immense, and then there are additional challenges.

"If you live in a rural or remote community, you have to pay for transportation to and from a clinic. You have to pay for child care if you have children, take time off work or school, and those costs all add up," he told CTV News.

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Advocates press B.C. Liberal leader to clarify stance on free contraception, access to safe abortion

CityNews, Vancouver
May 12, 2
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A grassroots group in B.C. seeking free contraception for all British Columbians is pressing provincial Liberal leader to clarify if he supports reproductive health choices and safe access.

Teale Phelps Bondaroff is the chair and co-founder of Access BC. He sent a letter to the newly elected B.C.’s opposition Liberal leader Kevin Falcon.

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'Not just a U.S. issue': Advocates urge feds to broaden safe abortion access in Canada

CityNews, Vancouver
May 12, 2
022

The recent spotlight on safe abortions in the U.S. has highlighted that many Canadians face a number of barriers when accessing their reproductive options, says one advocate. 

Unless you live in Vancouver, Toronto, or Montreal, “it’s very challenging to access abortion care,” said Makeda Zook, access line program manager at Action Canada for Sexual Health and Right.

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How the U.S. abortion paper leak is bringing B.C.'s reproductive access into focus

Vancouver Is Awesome
May 11, 2
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“We need politicians to bring that same energy when it comes to tackling other barriers to reproductive care. We have politicians saying you have a right to an abortion, which you absolutely do. And that's fundamental, but we don't have them throwing that same energy behind efforts to prevent unplanned pregnancy to remove other barriers to people accessing reproductive health services.”

This is one reason why AccessBC has been advocating for free prescription contraception in B.C. since 2017: conducting research, meeting with MLAs and consulting with government.

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BC’s abortion problem is access, not laws

The Tyee, May 6, 2022

“I see the downstream effects of people not having access to contraception every day when I go to work,” said Habte, noting the distress unwanted pregnancies can cause.

Habte encouraged concerned British Columbians to channel their frustration and fear into advocacy to their MLAs and other elected officials for better contraception and abortion access here in B.C. “There are tangible things we can do,” she said.

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L’accès à l’avortement est toujours difficile dans les milieux ruraux en C.-B.

Radio Canada, May 5, 2022

Organisatrice de la campagne AccessBC, la Dre Habte indique que la province a encore du travail à faire pour soutenir tout le spectre de la santé reproductrice, notamment en rendant la contraception gratuite, ce que les trois principaux partis politiques provinciaux ont déjà promis.

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Ruth Habte on the Early Edition with Stephen Quinn

CBC Radio, May 4, 2022

A leaked draft opinion from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito suggests the landmark Roe v Wade decision that allowed legal abortions in The United States may be overturned. That has the put the spotlight on reproductive health and rights here in Canada - and around the world. Dr. Ruth Habte joins us now for more on this story. She is a resident physician at UBC in Obstetrics and Gynecology and also a campaign organizer with Access BC, a group looking to make all contraception available free of charge.

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Leaked Roe v. Wade draft puts B.C. abortion access in the spotlight

CBC, May 3, 2022

As campaign organizer for AccessBC, Habte said the province still has a long way to go in supporting the spectrum of reproductive care, including making prescription contraception free, something all three major provincial parties have promised. "It makes very little sense to have the downstream outcomes of pregnancy covered," she said.

"If you have high blood pressure in pregnancy, if you need prenatal care, if you want an abortion, all of those things are covered. But all the upstream preventative effects are not." 

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Advocates for free contraception disappointed election promise wasn't funded in 2022 B.C. budget

CBC, March 3, 2022

A B.C. advocacy group is calling on the provincial government to provide free prescription contraception to all British Columbians after it was promised during the 2020 election campaign but not included in the 2022 provincial budget. In a statement, Access B.C. says it was extremely disappointed in the lack of funding and wants the B.C. NDP to "fulfill its election promise to make all forms of prescription contraception universally accessible at no cost."

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No free contraception in B.C.’s 2022 budget

Politics Today, Feb. 28, 2022

“Two years later, to still not have a policy enactment is incredibly disappointing, and it’s something that affects the patients that I take care of every single day,” Habte told BC Today. “Every budget that it is not included in, we simply have more patients who are unable to access the medicines that they need to get to, and that results in unintended pregnancies and costs for the government.”

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Access to Free and Effective Contraception is a Basic Human Right

The Public Health Insight, September 26, 2021

Many of us know someone who has used contraception in their lifetime, whether for birth control or for the multitude of other benefits it provides. In Ontario for example, those under the age of 25 tend not to think about the cost thanks to provincial health insurance covering most of the available contraceptive options.

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Free contraception is still out of reach for Canadians

The Pidgeon, March 18, 2021

“Almost everyone in British Columbia has either used contraception or has benefited from their partners using contraception, so the idea of this being a special interest issue is just wildly divorced from reality,” Black said.
 

“The other thread of opposition that we’ve heard […]is ultimately grounded in a desire to control women’s bodies.”

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B.C. NDPs free birth control pledge a win for equality, will pay for itself: advocates

Victoria News, Oct. 14, 2020

The campaign promise, announced by NDP Leader John Horgan last week, is expected to cost $60 million each year.
 

Devon Black and Teale Phelps Bondaroff, co-founders of AccessBC, said that they’ve been advocating for free birth control in B.C. for four years. “We were really excited,” Phelps Bondaroff said. The group, although non-partisan, helped pass the policy at an NDP convention in 2017, the first step to getting it to an election platform.

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B.C. NDP promises free prescription contraception if elected

The Globe and Mail,

October 14, 2021

“This is such an important step,” said Chen. “It has been such a barrier for people to be able to have their basic reproductive health and rights.”

The party said the program to provide, for example, oral contraceptive pills or intrauterine devices, will cost the government $60 million a year.

Chen said the move to make prescription contraception free is a continuation of the effort the government made to have free menstrual products in the bathrooms of all public schools.

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