A hard pill to swallow: contraception should be free

The Cascade, Nov. 10, 2021

UFV students are no strangers to the wide selection of safe sex options in free vending machines around campus or available at the PRLC lounge — dental dams, lube, and condoms galore. It’s not uncommon to see free condoms or menstrual products being handed out at Canadian universities, and yet some forget that these are resources still being fought for in many countries and institutions. While condoms are a more popular option to hand out en masse, another form of birth control is often overlooked in the dialogue of free resources: universal access to contraceptives.

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Hansard Blues: Access to Free Contraception - Question Period

Hansard, October 28, 2021

Question from Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands to Adrian Dix, Minister of Health during Question Period on October 28, 2021.

Read the transcript in Hansard Blues here.

Watch the question on YouTube here


Sexual and reproductive health advocates call for free prescription contraception

Prince George Daily News, September 27, 2021

Sunday, World Contraception Day, the AccessBC Campaign, joined by Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC), CoverContraceptiON, and Birth Control Access for Manitoba, are calling for universal no-cost prescription contraception in British Columbia and across all of Canada.


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.


Reproductive Justice, Health Equity & the Campaign for No-Cost Contraception in BC | Dr. Ruth Habte

CGSHE - Sept. 23, 2021

Dr. Ruth Habte discusses the concepts of reproductive justice and health equity as it relates to contraception. She further details the research supporting universal no-cost contraception and AccessBC the grassroots campaign to bring no-cost prescription contraception to British Columbia.


Joint Statement: Sexual and Reproductive Health Advocates Call for Free Prescription Contraception on World Contraception Day 2021

AccessBC, Sept. 22, 2021

Access to contraception is a human right. Universal coverage for contraception empowers people, improves health outcomes, and leads to significant cost savings. This World Contraception Day, September 26, 2021, the AccessBC Campaign, joined by Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC), CoverContraceptiON, and Birth Control Access for Manitoba, are calling for universal no-cost prescription contraception in British Columbia and across all of Canada.

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Campaign calls for free prescription contraception across B.C.

New Westminster Record,

Sept. 15, 2021

A campaign calling for free prescription contraception in B.C. has launched a new social media effort.

The AccessBC Campaign for free prescription contraception is calling on British Columbians to share photos of themselves with signs that explain why they support universal, no-cost prescription contraception, explains a news release. The campaign is gearing up a couple of weeks before World Contraception Day, on Sept. 26, 2021.


Saanich-based group continues its call for no-cost birth control

Saanich News, July 26, 2021

Saanich-based advocacy group AccessBC calls coverage of free contraception by the province a “no-brainer” and is regrouping to lobby for its adoption in the 2022 budget.

Beginning again next week, a letter-writing initiative asks residents to reach out to elected officials to encourage no-cost contraception. Free birth control was not included in the 2021 provincial budget, despite the advocacy group’s campaign.

Credit - AccessBC Campaign - IUD and Pil

Advocates disappointed to see universal birth control coverage missing in 2021 B.C. budget

Saanich News, April 26, 2021

No-cost birth control is off the table for B.C. in 2021 and Saanich-based advocacy group, AccessBC, is disappointed as organizers say it would have had significant positive impacts amid the pandemic.

When universal contraception coverage was left out of the 2020 budget, Devon Black, co-founder of AccessBC, called the exclusion a missed opportunity but said the team was hopeful about the province funding no-cost prescription birth control in 2021.

Credit - AccessBC Campaign - IUD on Blue

Consumer round-up: B.C.'s budget hikes tobacco tax, provides free transit for kids

CTV News, April 20, 2021

For the past two years, advocates have been hoping B.C. budgets would include free prescription birth control for the province, but so far, it has not materialized.

Last year, health minister Adrian Dix said it was under review for the next budget. And recommendations from the 2021 Budget Committee included one to “Provide free prescription contraception for all people in British Columbia.”


Free contraception in BC would help everyone, not just cis women 

Loose Lips Magazine,

March 22, 2021

The BC NDP was elected on a platform that promised to make all prescription contraception free, affirmed by Minister of Health for BC Adrian Dix’s mandate letter. That still hasn’t happened, limiting access to care for anyone who can become pregnant across the province. That can include trans men, non-binary people, gender-fluid people, and intersex people, not only cisgender women.


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.”


Are all women in Canada really free to choose?

Women's Health Blog,

March 2021

There are numerous benefits to accessible contraception, which are evident in studies in North America and around the world. In Canada, the cost of contraception is almost entirely the responsibility of the user, with few exceptions. This is in contrast to several countries which similarly have universal health care, but have chosen to subsidize prescription contraception, either in full or in part. 


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.