Canada’s government to offer free contraception to women

Canada’s government to offer free contraception to millions of women 


Millions of women in Canada will soon access free contraception, after the government announced it would cover the full cost of contraception for women of reproductive age. 

Over the weekend, the government said it plans to pay for the most popular contraceptive methods, including hormonal intrauterine devices and copper intrauterine devices (IUDs), contraceptive pills, hormonal implants or hormonal vaginal rings, and emergency contraceptives.

In Canada, IUDs can cost up to CAD$500 per unit (AUD$567) while the hormonal vaginal ring and birth control pills can cost up to CAD$300 per year ($AUD340). 

Although they have yet to announce the date for the launch of this new initiative, the government said the announcement coincides with the first phase of the national pharmacare plan — which was unveiled in February. 

“This legislation paves the way to build a Canada that is not only equitable but more affordable for all,” a statement from the government read. “A national pharmacare plan means that every woman will have the right to choose if or when they would like to start a family.”

“The federal government recognises that the financial cost of contraceptives, and medications for those who are diabetic, is one of the largest barriers to access. A universal pharmacare plan aims to diminish the divide between cost and need, while reducing financial barriers.”

The government will still need the approval of the country’s provinces for this new system to begin rolling out – since it is the provinces that administer health care to the citizens.

Over the weekend, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared news of the initiative on X, saying “Women should be free to choose the contraceptives they need without cost getting in the way. So, we’re making contraceptives free.” 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland said she believes women should have the autonomy to make their own choices about their health and their bodies. 

“Our plan to make common contraceptives free—like birth control pills and IUDs, and even emergency contraception—will mean that, for nine million Canadian women, freedom of choice will be truly ‘free,’” she said in a press release.

“And it means more Canadian women will have freedom of choice over their bodies and their lives.”

President of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC), Dr Amanda Black described the new initiative as one that “reaffirms [the government’s] dedication to women’s healthcare in Canada.” 

“The SOGC has consistently advocated for a comprehensive contraceptive coverage policy because it empowers women to make informed choices about their reproductive health and their futures, including family planning, educational pursuits and workforce entry and re-entry,” she said.

“Access to contraception transcends reproductive rights and is a cornerstone of public health and equity. We believe that no individual should be prevented from accessing contraception due to income or where they live. Universal contraception coverage will produce immediate benefits for our society and have an intergenerational impact. This policy will ensure that women are empowered with tools to better control their futures and reproductive life plans.” 

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, Ya’ara Saks said the plan ensures “women have the freedom to plan for their future and choose when they want to start a family.”

“Canadians should never have to choose between their health and paying bills,” Saks said. 

On X, several women have rejoiced in the news of the government’s new initiative. “This is absolutely incredible. As an OBGYN I fully support and celebrate this particular historic decision. I hope it is a permanent policy,” one X user wrote.

Another user asked, “You know what else should be free? Tampons and maxi pads.” 


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