Launch national pharmacare with free birth control, NDP pitches

·1 min read

OTTAWA — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says the government should launch pharmacare with free access to birth control, including the morning-after pill.

Reproductive health has been in the spotlight since a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion revealed national abortion rights could be rescinded in that country.

Singh says one of the things the government can do immediately to improve reproductive rights in Canada is to make contraceptives free and accessible as part of a national pharmacare plan.

Right now, the affordability of contraceptives varies widely around the country based on where people live, their insurance coverage and their age.

As part of the Liberals' confidence and supply agreement with the NDP, the federal government has until June 2025 to develop a list of essential medicines that would be covered under a national pharmacare plan.

Singh says he's been clear with the government that the list should include contraceptives, and leaving it off would cause "serious problems" for the Liberal-NDP deal.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2022.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press

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