NDP TO PROVIDE UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO BIRTH CONTROL BY 2020

June 6, 2019

VANCOUVER – NDP Health Critic Don Davies (Vancouver – Kingsway) and NDP Critic for Women’s Equality Irene Mathyssen (London – Fanshawe) today unveiled their plan to provide universal access to prescription contraceptives for all Canadians by late 2020.

They announced their pledge outside the 2019 Women Deliver Conference, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and well-being of girls and women.

“Reproductive freedom is a basic human right and key to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals,” said Mathyssen. “In particular, goal 5 on gender equality calls for all countries to provide universal access to reproductive health care and rights.

“Today’s announcement builds on my Parliamentary Motion, M-65, which calls on the federal government to work with the provinces and territories to cover the full cost of prescribed contraceptives,” added Mathyssen. 

“This is an essential reproductive health initiative,” said Davies. “The ability to prevent or delay pregnancy gives people more control over their bodies and will result in significant improvement across several health metrics.”

At present, many Canadians cannot afford to access the contraceptives they need, and public coverage varies tremendously by region. For example, birth control like the NuvaRing is publicly covered in Quebec, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI and the Yukon, but not in BC, Alberta, Manitoba or Ontario. Only Alberta covers emergency contraceptives, and only Quebec covers the contraceptive patch.

“Canada should lead by example by guaranteeing equal access to birth control for all its citizens,” Davies said. “By implementing universal, public phamacare, we can ensure that prescribed contraceptives are available as a matter of basic healthcare delivery.”

“Contraception shouldn’t just be accessible for those who can afford it,” concluded Mathyssen. “Everyone, no matter where they live, deserves the chance to determine their own future.”

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