March 1st, 2023

Free birth control would help Nova Scotians

HALIFAX – On the heels of British Columbia announcing it will be the first jurisdiction in Canada to make prescription contraception free to all residents, the Houston government should provide Nova Scotians with the same support.

“Universal coverage of contraception would save people money out of pocket and help them and the province avoid future medical expenses,” said NDP Leader Claudia Chender. “It also helps ensure choice and equity in reproductive health. BC is leading the way, I hope we’ll see similar advances in the Nova Scotia budget next month.”

Atlantic Canada has some of the lowest levels of access to prescription medications in the country. In March 2020, the Liberal government said it would review MSI regulations to potentially cover the cost of IUDs. To date, little action has been taken.

“Cost shouldn’t be a barrier for those who want access to contraceptives,” said NDP Health and Wellness spokesperson Susan Leblanc. “Reproductive health care is health care and the cost of prescription contraceptives is a serious barrier for many people. Women, trans and non-binary people, people with lower incomes and young people deserve to be able to access contraceptives without delay.”

The NDP tabled legislation in November 2021 that would ensure anyone without coverage would be able to get birth control under the provincial MSI plan.