The City of Victoria endorses free birth control for B.C. residents.
In a committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 23, Couns. Sarah Potts and Jeremy Loveday presented council with a motion to support AccessBC, a Saanich-based campaign calling on the provincial government to include provisions for free prescription birth control for all residents in the 2020 provincial budget.
Council passed the motion unanimously and will now call on the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities to demonstrate support for the campaign as well.
Victoria will present a resolution at the AVICC conference asking that a letter voicing support for the campaign be sent to the provincial government, explained Teale Phelps Bondaroff, committee chair and co-founder of the AccessBC campaign.
He was pleased to see council demonstrate support for the cause and noted that Victoria is the first municipality to endorse the AccessBC campaign.
“Universal coverage of no-cost prescription contraception is a policy that is supported by sound evidence and would have significant positive impacts for people across the province,” Phelps Bondaroff explained in a statement.
Loveday emphasized that he’s heard from residents that no-cost birth control is a priority and he is “proud to stand beside them.”
Potts pointed out the current high prices of birth control – an intrauterine device can cost about $380 – and noted that no one should have to choose between paying for rent or for contraception.
AccessBC has cited research that shows government funding contraception will, in turn, cut down on the costs that currently go towards supporting those disproportionately affected by the costs of contraception and unplanned pregnancies – women and youth.
According to a study conducted by Options for Sexual Health in 2010, by spending $50-million on birth control, B.C. could save up to $95-million each year.
“This policy will save people and the government money,” said Coun. Sarah Potts. “Access to contraception is a truly equalizing act that I am proud to support.”