I met hundreds of people who stopped by the BC Greens tent at the Saanich Fair on Labour Day weekend. We talked about a lot of different topics and covered a lot of ground.
One group I met were from an advocacy organization called Access BC – a youth-run initiative to get free prescription contraceptives for all British Columbians, similar to programs in European countries like Great Britain, Germany and Italy.
Earlier this year the Canadian Pediatric Society called for everyone under the age of 25 to get access to free contraception however the push is on the BC Government to broaden the scope.
Good reasons to provide free contraception
The Access BC website makes a strong case for their advocacy highlighting solid social and economic reasons to expand a potential contraceptive program. The social cost of unplanned pregnancies is high and there are many additional barriers in rural communities that increase the challenges for women and their reproductive health. Let’s reconcile the gender equality issues. Men can get free access to condoms and vasectomies are covered by MSP, yet contraceptive options for women can range from $20-$350. Studies have shown that a program covering contraception costs for everyone who wants it will be revenue positive and could save the provincial government approximately $95 million per year.
Personally, I support this initiative. Similar to the program announced earlier this year to provide free menstrual products in our schools, this is a critical and important step forward for our society. I hope (and encourage) the provincial government to be bold and deliver a program more expansive than to just people under the age of 25.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments section below.