On November 29th, Ontario MPP, Jennifer Stevens (St-Catherines) revisited the proposed motion for free access to contraception in the province of Ontario. Speaking to the Minister of Health, Ms. Stevens outlined the barriers women face when it comes to accessing contraceptives throughout the province:
“I've received over a thousand stories highlighting barriers to access to contraception. Today, I bring these voices to our debate on Ontario's motion [Motion 36].”
“Sarah, 27, has to chose between contraception and rent.”
“Nadia, also 27, unintended pregnancy forced her job resignation due to unaffordable childcare.”
Citing the recent changes in other provinces, Ms. Stevens made the case that this would have significant benefits for both the people and the province. “As B.C. and Manitoba show, universal contraception offers affordability, gender equity and health cost benefits, will the Minister commit to starting public consultations on this critical issue to improve outcomes?”
For her part, the Minister of Health, the Honourable Sylvia Jones acknowledged the member’s position on the matter yet offered no indication that she would agree to any public consultations, citing that Ontario “already has” access to contraceptives for people under 25 as well as the Ontario Trillium Drug Benefit Program for individuals who are “financially challenged.”
Yet despite these measure, only 40% of the population of Ontario benefit from access to birth control products and medication.
The NDP motion, which was brought forth on March 8, 2023, on International Women’s Day, outlines that this plan would expand OHIP coverage and save more than $76.9 million dollars for the province in preventative costs. A projection that was determined by SOGC member Dr. Wendy Norman in her letter to British Columbia’s government prior to it’s adoption of free access to contraceptives across the province.
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada has been advocating for free access to contraceptives for some time and we strongly believe in women’s right to choose their own reproductive and family planning. We hope that this matter will be revisited in future debates and perhaps lead to vital public consultations, which would signify a real commitment to the health of women in Ontario.
You can help us remove the barriers to contraception!
In the meantime, we invite you to contact your MPP by filling out the form below to express your desire to have contraception fully covered in Ontario.
SHARE YOUR STORY HERE
We want to send a clear message to the government, so share your experience. Tell them YOUR story:
- Have you faced barriers while trying to access contraceptive medication or devices?
- Does your employer cover the full costs of your chosen contraceptives?
- Are you struggling to afford contraception with the rising cost of living?
- Are you using birth control to manage symptoms of gynecological illnesses, such as endometriosis?
- Has your job ever been at risk because of these symptoms?
Let’s make this happen together!