The City of Vernon has asked the province to consider making free contraception a reality in B.C., and other municipalities are following suit.
Vernon Council sent a letter to the province and other of B.C. municipalities in November 2020. The letter to Premier John Horgan and other ministers stated that access to contraception under the Medical Services Plan makes sense from a health perspective.
“Providing free prescription contraception has been shown to improve health outcomes for parents and infants by reducing the risks associated with unintended pregnancy, and is likely to reduce direct medical costs on the provincial health system,” the letter states.
The letter goes on to mention that more male-oriented forms of contraception, such as condoms or vasectomies, are already available at low cost of are covered by the provincial health plan, while forms such as birth control pills, intrauterine devices, or hormone injections have higher up-front costs.
Vernon was the 10th city in the province to request no-cost prescription contraception — one of several common benchmarks for gender-equity in health care.
On the agenda for council’s Monday (Feb. 22) meeting are messages of support for the city’s letter from other municipalities, including Enderby.
The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has also endorsed the City of Vernon’s letter and sent its own letter to the province, according to the agenda.