District of Clearwater councillors receieved a letter from the City of Vernon at the Feb. 16 regular council meeting. The letter contained a motion that Vernon council passed at their Jan. 13 meeting. In it, the City of Vernon is requesting the Government of British Columbia provide a “universal no-cost access to all prescription contraception available in B.C. under the Medical Services Plan.”
Vernon council forwarded this letter to all B.C. municipalities, requesting they write a letter of support as well.
The DOC councillors agreed to the motion and will be writing a letter of support for no-cost prescription contraceptives to be available through the province’s medical system.
The letter from Vernon council was sent the letter to the province in November 2020. The letter stated that from a medical perspective, free contraception makes sense.
“Providing free prescription contraception has been shown to improve health outcomes for parents and infants by reducing the risks assocaited with unintended pregnancy, and is likely to reduce direct medical costs on the provincial health system,” the letter states.
The letter pointed out a contradiction between services offered under B.C.’s MSP, noting more male-oriented forms of contraception, such as condoms or vasectomies, are already available at low cost or are covered by the provincial health plan. More female-oriented forms, such as birth control pills, intrauterine devices or hormone injections, have higher up-front costs.
— With files from Black Press