Creating Opportunity through Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare Reform

Every Albertan should have access to the support they need to make informed decisions about their bodies and futures.

MARCH 8, 2024

EDMONTON — Alberta NDP Leadership Candidate Rakhi Pancholi announced a comprehensive suite of sexual and reproductive health policies, including publicly funded In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) programs, universal contraception coverage, expanded access to screening mammograms, reversing restrictions to gender-affirming care and increasing access to abortion care.

"In a province as prosperous as Alberta, no one should have to face barriers when it comes to sexual and reproductive health," said Pancholi. "I am committed to ensuring that every Albertan has the access and support they need to make informed decisions about their bodies and futures."

Publicly Funded Support for IVF Programs

With IVF treatments ranging between $10,000 to $20,000 per cycle, many families in Alberta are currently unable to afford the cost of pursuing pregnancy through IVF. Acknowledging the challenges faced by many prospective parents, Pancholi proposes reintroducing publicly funded support for IVF treatments, mirroring successful models in British Columbia and Ontario.

"It's time for Alberta to step up and provide support for families struggling with infertility," said Pancholi.

Universal Contraception Coverage

Pancholi's plan also includes universal access to contraception, responding to the 74% of Albertans who support prescription birth control access. 

"Investing in universal contraception is not just about reproductive rights; it's about making smart, evidence-based decisions that benefit all Albertans,” said Pancholi. “For every dollar spent, we see up to nine times that in savings across the public sector."

“We need the UCP government to stop playing partisan games and start prioritizing Albertans’ needs. Government should provide access to universal coverage for contraception, whether it happens through the federal pharmacare program or through provincial coverage.

Expanded Access to Screening Mammograms

Pancholi also commits to lowering the recommended age for regular screening mammograms to 40 to better identify and treat aggressive cancers in their early stages.

"Early detection saves lives. This policy will not only ensure that more Albertans have the preventive care they need but also improve equity-focused health outcomes for Black, Hispanic, and Asian Albertans who are disproportionately impacted without access to earlier screening," stated Pancholi.

Increasing Access to Gender-Affirming Care

Pancholi wants to prioritize increasing access to gender-affirming care across Alberta. This would begin by consulting with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community on how to remove barriers and increase access to services and health professionals to reduce wait times for care.

“We must protect the rights of trans Albertans to receive the care they need,” said Pancholi.

Increasing Access to Abortion Care

Finally, the policy package addresses the limited access to abortion care, especially in rural areas. Pancholi’s plan proposes expanding the scope of mid-level providers to offer abortion care, ensuring confidential care for victims of domestic violence, and addressing the shortage of medical practitioners in sexual and reproductive healthcare.

"Lack of access is a failure to provide healthcare. Abortion is healthcare, and every Albertan should be able to access the care they need, regardless of where they live,” said Pancholi.

Pancholi’s reproductive health priorities are focused on creating opportunities for every Albertan to access the healthcare they deserve.

For additional information, please refer to the following resources:

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Rakhi will be available for interviews upon request.

[email protected]