Media

TVO, January 18, 2021

Why this group wants no-cost contraception for all Ontarians

“Canada is an international leader in gender equity and reproductive freedoms yet the lack of universal contraception coverage encroaches on the rights of its very own peoples,” the letter reads. “The COVID-19 pandemic intensifies this pre-existing inequity and disproportionately affects the marginalized – those of low socioeconomic status, cultural minorities, Black and Indigenous peoples, and residents of rural communities. The Ontario government must act now to champion the reproductive rights, health, and autonomy of its peoples and implement universal, no-cost contraception coverage for all.”

Mission Spooky Podcast,
Dec. 20, 2020

Episode 44: Holiday Special: Ghosts of Christmas Past

Tune in to this spooky podcast that explores holiday-themed ghost stories from BC and features an AccessBC Campaign Ad (3:45).

West Coast Leaf, Dec. 10, 2020

West Coast Leaf: COVID-19 BC Gender Equity Report Card

"However, the pandemic presented new hurdles for those seeking reproductive health services, as some clinics were converted to COVID-19 testing locations; people isolated with abusers could not safely access telehealth appointments for contraception or medical abortion; and people who had lost income faced new financial barriers to accessing birth control. The pandemic has underscored the need for BC to provide universal coverage for prescription contraception—including copper IUDs, which are excluded from Fair Pharmacare despite being the only form of emergency contraception that is effective regardless of body weight (p.19)."

Humanist Canada, Nov. 29, 2020

Webinar Series 2020: Strategies in Reproductive Health Activism

This talk surveys a number of these strategies. It will highlight efforts across Canada to increase access to prescription contraception, including the AccessBC Campaign in British Columbia and the ContraceptiON Campaign in Ontario.

The talk will then delve into the strategy of Women on Waves (WoW), an international non-governmental organization that seeks to prevent unsafe abortions and unwanted pregnancies. 

The Free Press, Oct. 21. 2020

District of Sparwood revisits support for no-cost contraception

The District of Sparwood has voted to support the City of New Westminster’s lobbying the provincial government to support no-cost prescription contraception.

At the Oct. 20 regular meeting, three representatives for the Sparwood Contraception Access Advocates (SCAA) – Justine Bowen, Joni Laberge and Rylee McDonald – stood before council to request the letter of support, along with an amendment to Sparwood’s Official Community Plan (OCP) and an apology to those disregarded by previous decisions.

Terrace Standard, Oct. 15. 2020

B.C. NDP’s pledge of free birth control followed by Liberals, Greens

“It’s long overdue. Every single party should have it in their platform.”

In the days following Black Press Media’s interview with AccessBC, the B.C. Greens pledged free contraception for people under the age of 25, as well as to eliminate PST on all prescription contraceptive products. Intrauterine contraceptives and oral ones are already provincial sales tax exempt.

CTV News, Oct. 15. 2020

Candidate resigns from BC Liberals after eugenics comments

Devon Black, a lawyer and co-founder of AccessBC, a campaign aimed at ensuring that contraception is available for free in British Columbia, said she found the candidate's comments "frustrating."

"It's frustrating to see someone who has been in a position to make decisions about women's health clearly not have an understanding of what it means to have a free choice to make reproductive decisions," Black told CTV News Vancouver. "It's also really frustrating to see Mr. Throness speaking as though he is an advocate for people in poverty when he is opposing a proposal that will save people thousands of dollars over the course of their lives."

Vernon Morning Star,

Oct.15, 2020

Vernon 10th in B.C. to endorse free birth control

“And the other thing that I feel about this is that it contains a whiff of the old eugenics thing where poor people shouldn’t have babies and so we can’t force them to have contraception so we’ll give it to them for free,” Throness continues. “And maybe they’ll have fewer babies so there will be fewer poor people in the future. And to me that contains an odour that I don’t like and so I don’t really support what the NDP is doing there and that’s my answer.”

News 1130, Oct.15, 2020

B.C. Liberal Laurie Throness slammed for comparing free birth control plan to eugenics

“And the other thing that I feel about this is that it contains a whiff of the old eugenics thing where poor people shouldn’t have babies and so we can’t force them to have contraception so we’ll give it to them for free,” Throness continues. “And maybe they’ll have fewer babies so there will be fewer poor people in the future. And to me that contains an odour that I don’t like and so I don’t really support what the NDP is doing there and that’s my answer.”

Victoria News, Oct. 14, 2020

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

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.

Vernon Matters, 

Oct. 14, 2020

Council backs gender equity for birth control costs

“Cost is a significant barrier to people accessing contraception, particularly to people with low incomes, youth, and people from marginalized communities,” Coun. Kelly Fehr said. “Providing free prescription contraception has been shown to improve health outcomes for parents and infants by reducing the risks associated with unintended pregnancy, and is likely to reduce direct medical costs on the provincial health system.”

Globe and Mail,
Oct. 11, 2020

B.C. NDP promises free prescription contraception if elected

“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.

Global News, Oct. 11, 2020

Vernon council to consider motion on free prescription contraception

“When people can’t afford contraception, it places them in situations that they may not be prepared or equipped to take on and it adds additional stresses on the families and on the health-care system,” Fehr said.
 

“The reality is the financial burden for prescription contraception falls disproportionately on women and people with uteruses and the result of unwanted pregnancies presents an unfortunate healthcare challenge to women.”

The Orca, Oct. 9, 2020

When rights become reality

It’s basic preventative health. Where women have access to free contraception the rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion plummet.
 

That is significant in a province where abortion services are scant outside of Metro Vancouver and the cost of travel is not reimbursed. A study by the UBC Faculty of Medicine found that 90 per cent of the 16,000 abortions performed in B.C. in 2010 took place in urban facilities.

Not surprising since, in the decade previous, B.C. lost 60 per cent of its rural abortion providers, said Dr. Wendy V. Norman, a family physician and assistant professor who led the study.

Cranbrook Daily Townsman
Sept. 28, 2020

Cranbrook and Kimberley Councils support initiative calling on BC Gov. to cover prescription contraception

On September 14, 2020, Cranbrook City Council unanimously passed a motion calling on the provincial government to cover all prescription contraception at no cost under the BC Medical Services Plan. Kimberley City Council passed the same motion at their August 2020 meeting.

“I’m very happy to see rural municipal support of this important issue,” said Dr. Katelyn Mudry, a local naturopathic physician and member of the AccessBC Campaign for free prescription contraception, who led efforts to get this motion before council.

New Westminster Record,
Sept. 25, 2020

New Westminster supports universal no-cost contraception

New Westminster city council is urging the province to support universal no-cost access to all prescription contraception – just in time for World Contraception Day.

At its Sept. 14 meeting, council unanimously passed a motion by Coun. Nadine Nakagawa calling on the provincial government to cover all prescription contraception at no cost under the B.C. Medical Services Plan.

The Tyee, Sept. 12, 2020

Is Free Contraception Finally Coming to BC?

“Social health is improved when people can have their individual health needs met,” said Devon Black, co-founder of the volunteer advocacy group AccessBC. “And this is an area where a lot of people have individual health needs that are not being met, and they’re specifically not being met in a gendered way.

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We are a group of young people from around British Columbia calling for free prescription contraception.

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