VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Councillors in Vancouver have approved a motion asking the province to foot the bill for prescription contraception options in B.C.
The idea had been brought forward by Councillor Christine Boyle, who called it a justice issue.
She’s pointing out that contraceptive methods aimed at men, like condoms and vasectomies, are available at a reduced cost or fully covered by B.C’s Medical Services Plan.
“Right now contraception for people with penises is covered and for people with uteruses, it isn’t. It’s kind of a historic inequity,” she says. “This needs to be corrected in terms of what’s covered in particular, so that people with lower incomes have equal access and truly have a choice in terms of their reproductive decisions.”
She adds other municipalities across the Lower Mainland are considering the plan, with Victoria passing a similar motion in January.
“It goes to the province. And ideally, we’ll see a change from them before the next provincial budget,” she says. “There’s been some really interesting studies about the cost savings in terms of health in being able to provide people access to these sorts of prescriptive contraceptives to make reproductive choices earlier on for themselves.”
The motion had been backed by fellow Councillor Jean Swanson, who says, ‘Unless prescription contraception is free, people who don’t have much money won’t have the same access to it as others, plain and simple.’