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Saanich council joins push for free prescription contraception

Cost remains a barrier says local advocate
The District of Saanich is joining the call for free prescription contraception in B.C. (Courtesy AccessBC)

Saanich council unanimously endorsed sending a letter to the provincial government in support of making all prescription contraception free in B.C.

AccessBC, a grassroots campaign founded in Saanich in 2017, has been garnering support for free prescription contraception and is also running a province-wide public letter campaign.

Saanich is the 31st municipality and district to endorse no-cost coverage of prescription contraception in the province. Victoria, Vancouver, Burnaby, Kimberley, Squamish, New Westminster and Cranbrook are among those also in support.

The Union of British Columbia Municipalities passed two resolutions supporting this policy at its 2020 convention and free contraception was endorsed by all three major political parties in the last provincial election.

An intrauterine device (IUD) can cost between $75 to $380, oral contraceptive pills can cost $20 per month, hormone injections as much as $180 per year and an implant can cost $350.

Cost remains a barrier that prevents people from accessing prescription contraception in Saanich and across B.C., said Teale Phelps Bondaroff, chair and co-founder of the AccessBC campaign. “I’m pleased to see Saanich step up to support reproductive justice.”

No-cost prescription contraception is a good social, health and economic policy, said Saanich Coun. Ned Taylor in a release.

“This is something that all three major political parties in B.C. have expressed support for, but progress is lacking. It’s clear that more pressure is needed,” added Taylor.

ALSO READ: Saanich-based group continues its call for no-cost birth control

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