Pediatric society calls for access to free contraceptives for everyone under 25

The Canadian Paediatric Society is recommending that everyone under 25 should get confidential access to free birth control.

In a position statement released Thursday, the society says access to contraception is a basic human right, and the direct costs of unintended youth pregnancies probably exceed $125 million a year.

It says contraception should be funded through provincial, territorial and federal health plans, and that private insurers should cover the full cost of birth control.

It also says insurers should be required to protect confidentiality by not reporting contraceptive purchases to the primary policy holder, usually a parent.

The society's paper does not set out a minimum age for access to contraceptives, but a spokesperson pointed to the organization's ``mature minor doctrine,'' which refers to rules about treating adolescents who understand the consequences of medical care and can legally consent to it.

The paper says unintended pregnancies may derail life plans, especially for young people, and ensuring women can make choices around having children gives them greater control over their bodies and future.