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.
“There are arguments against free contraception, but they’re all deeply rooted in misogyny,” said Teale Phelps Bondaroff, AccessBC’s co-founder. Among the most frequent arguments he hears from opponents is that they don’t want to pay for the contraception needs of others. “The response to that, of course, is that it would actually save the healthcare system money.”
A UBC study found broadening access to affordable contraception could decrease the number of people at risk of accidental pregnancy. A similar study showed one in 10 sexually active teenagers are not taking any steps to prevent pregnancy because cost remains an obstacle.
“We are pushing for the policy to be included in the 2022 budget, but the government could implement it sooner,” said Bondaroff, noting every month that passes is another month residents face unnecessary barriers.
Residents can contribute to the letter-writing campaign by visiting accessbc.org/the-campaign.
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