Advocates press B.C. Liberal leader to clarify stance on free contraception, access to safe abortion

A grassroots group in B.C. seeking free contraception for all British Columbians is pressing provincial Liberal leader to clarify if he supports reproductive health choices and safe access.

Teale Phelps Bondaroff is the chair and co-founder of Access BC. He sent a letter to the newly elected B.C.’s opposition Liberal leader Kevin Falcon.

“We asked Kevin Falcon to recommit to the B.C. Liberals to universal no-cost prescription contraception that was an election commitment. We want to see that reinforced,” Phelps Bondaroff explains. “There’s a new leader. It’s important that these things get restated.”

He explains the campaign has spoken to BC NDP and B.C. Greens who’ve endorsed free prescription contraception in their platforms. He says the B.C. Liberals supported it through a tweet in February before Falcon was elected as leader.

Since Falcon won a byelection, Access BC has reached out to Falcon to speak about his commitment to this policy, but the group has not heard back, Phelps Bondaroff says.

“So given all the news that’s been going on around Roe v. Wade, and reproductive justice issues, and his comments in the media last week, we thought we’d reach out to him again, for a couple of reasons.”

In the U.S., access to safe abortion has been under the spotlight after a leak of a draft opinion that would overrule Roe v. Wade and sharply curtail abortion rights in roughly half the states.

Related Articles: 

However, Phelps Bondaroff says there are some contradictions in Falcon’s apparent stance to support a person’s right to choose.

“We were a bit concerned about some comments that Mr. Falcon had made talking to an anti-choice group during his leadership campaign. In an interview with him, he mentioned that he would support a free vote for his members on issues relating to abortion,” Phelps Bondaroff explains. “We had concerns about that. If you support someone’s right to choose and you support abortion, having a free vote on someone’s fundamental rights is not acceptable, nor is allowing people who oppose a person’s right to choose to continue in your caucus.”

The advocate emphasizes that politicians’ statements need to back up their stance with action.

Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, says the recent spotlight on access to safe abortions “has reminded people what’s at stake. Things can change.”

“It’s very concerning to me … Not being clear on what Kevin Falcon will expect from members of his party is troubling … We have to remember we’re talking about access to health care care, and people need to know what people are going to do to protect access to health care and protect people’s right to choose,” she said.

“Access is essential. Access is critical.”

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today