February 12th, 2024

Nova Scotia should cover the cost of prescription contraception

HALIFAX – Costs for everything are increasing, making it harder for Nova Scotians to cover the cost of prescription birth control. As part of Sexual Health Week, Nova Scotian New Democrats are renewing our call for the Houston government to give Nova Scotians a break and cover the cost of prescription contraception.

“People’s budgets are getting tighter, and cost shouldn’t be the reason those who want or need contraceptives have to go without,” said NDP Health and Wellness spokesperson Susan Leblanc. “Reproductive health care is health care, and the cost of prescriptions is a serious barrier for many people. Women, trans and non-binary people, people with lower incomes and young people face too many barriers to reproductive care. Giving them a break on the cost of contraceptives would help a lot of people, today.”

Atlantic Canada has some of the lowest levels of access to prescription medications in the country. British Columbia and Manitoba have both committed to free prescription birth control for their residents.

“Access to contraception is recognized as a basic human right that, unfortunately, many Nova Scotians can’t access due to financial barriers,” said Kari Ellen Graham from Access Now Nova Scotia. “Programs that offer free birth control have been shown to be revenue positive; the cost of providing free birth control is considerably lower than the costs associated with unintended pregnancy.”

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