In a move to make contraceptive options free for men and women across Vancouver, City Council Member Christine Boyle has proposed a budget amendment that would provide no-cost prescription birth control for women in the city under Canada’s universal healthcare plan.
Health centers across British Columbia distribute free condoms, but the 2020 budget, which was released in February, did not include free birth control options for women.
Vancouver City Council has approved the motion and fellow City Council Member Jean Swanson has also supported the proposal. Boyle hopes to see the proposal approved across the whole province before the next budget is released.
More than 1.9 million women aged 18 and up in Canada live on a low income. As Boyle says, birth control is not one size fits all, and, according to a study by the University of British Columbia, lower-income women are more likely to resort to condoms only or no birth control at all because they cannot afford alternative options.
Making a wide variety of female contraceptive options available to women in British Columbia cost-free will allow more women to have autonomy over their reproductive systems and feel more comfortable about medical choices that impact their lives on a daily basis.