BRITISH COLUMBIA – As of April 1, people across British Columbia will be able to get birth control for free.
“Budget 2023 dedicates $119 million over three years to remove this cost and give people more choices about their own sexual and reproductive health,” the province said in a news release.
This program will cover the cost of several types of prescription contraceptives, including most oral hormone pills, contraceptive injections, copper and hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs), subdermal implants, and Plan B (A.K.A the morning-after pill).
There are some limitations though. Other forms of birth control, including condoms and patches, are not covered under the new system. Meanwhile, contraception will still need to be prescribed by a doctor, and your pharmacist can fill that prescription.
“B.C. is a great place to live, but people are facing real challenges – not only from global inflation and the pandemic but from ongoing and systemic challenges,” Katrine Conroy, minister of finance, said in a statement
“This year’s budget helps protect people who can’t afford today’s high prices and takes action on the issues people care about, like finding affordable housing and accessing health care.”
Free Birth Control for British Columbia: Canadians React
The move is part of the plan to help British Columbians cope with the rising cost of living.
“For a person who pays $25 a month for hormonal pills, free prescription contraception could save them as much as $10,000 over their lifetime,” reads therelease.
Many people feel that the government is moving in the right direction.
“Shoutout to BC for making prescription birth control free as of April 1. Huge win for reproductive rights!” posted one person on Twitter.
“PRESCRIPTION BIRTH CONTROL FREE AS OF APRIL 1ST?! I’M NEVER LEAVING BC, THIS IS AMAZING,” exclaimed another.
Meanwhile, many people feel the government should be doing more to make birth control and other medications accessible, and address the cost of living.
“Great news. And yet, it once again places all the onus on women. Why not free condoms? And what about menstrual products?” asked one woman.
“Wow, birth control is free but a type 1 diabetic still needs to pay for life-saving insulin and needles to give insulin?? Wth @adriandix @Dave_Eby if they can’t afford to pay for insulin they don’t live but hey logic of the @bcndp”
“not necessary..better that you pay the disabled a living wage.”
During their 2022 campaign, the Ontario NDP promised to offer free birth control if elected into office. While they didn’t win the 2022 election, the idea of free birth control was popular amongst Ontarians. The Brandon Gonez Show reached out to Ontario’s Ministry of Health to see if they have any plans to roll out a similar program to the one being implemented in British Columbia. They did not respond in time for publication.
Would you like to see this in Ontario? Or across Canada? Drop your thoughts in the comments!