March 30th, 2021

NDP bill would provide free birth control for Nova Scotians

HALIFAX -- The NDP is calling on the Liberal government to expand coverage for prescription and emergency contraceptives. Legislation tabled by the NDP Caucus would ensure anyone without coverage would be able to get birth control under the provincial MSI plan.

“Reproductive health care is health care. Cost shouldn’t be a barrier to accessing contraceptives,” said NDP Health and Wellness spokesperson Susan Leblanc. “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 easily and without delay.”

Atlantic Canada has some of the lowest levels of access to prescription medications in the country. An estimated one in three workers in Nova Scotia do not have health benefits.

"Accessible contraception is quintessential for optimal sexual and reproductive health" said Dr. Melissa Brooks, an Obstetrician Gynecologist and abortion provider in Halifax. "Unplanned pregnancy is not only a burden to the person, but poses a significant cost to the healthcare system. Ensuring access to effective contraception will improve the health of people in our province and lead to cost savings."

In March 2020, the Liberal government said it would review MSI regulations to potentially cover the cost of IUDs. To date, no action has been taken. The NDP will also introduce legislation to expand access to free menstrual products today.