Commentary  SSMU Fall General Assembly Endorsements

“YES” to Motion regarding SSMU Support for Cost-Free Birth Control Coverage (rh)

The Daily endorses a “yes” vote for the Motion regarding SSMU support for cost-free birth control coverage brought forth by McGill students for the New Democratic Party. The motion calls on SSMU to publicly support cost-free access to prescription birth control, which would require the SSMU Health and Dental Review Committee to review SSMU’s health insurance plan and negotiate with student healthcare insurance provider. It also asks that the committee report their progress on this matter to SSMU Council or at the General Assembly at the end of the academic year. Currently, prescription birth control is not fully covered under SSMU’s health insurance for non-Quebec students. We believe that access to birth control is a right and should be accessible to everyone. It is unfair that this right is not afforded to non-Quebec student.

We would also like to acknowledge that the motion does quote a study that refers to those who use methods of contraception as “heterosexually active Canadians”. However, the Daily’s understands this to mean anyone who can get pregnant or/and anyone who can impregnate.

“YES” to Motion regarding Global Access to Medicines Policy

The Daily endorses a “yes” vote for the Motion regarding Global Access to Medicines Policy brought forth by the McGill chapter of Universities Allied against Essential Medicines (UAEM). We believe that the principle of increasing global accessibility to healthcare, which this motion promotes, should be supported by the McGill student body. The motion, if it passes, would hold McGill University accountable for how it licenses research. The current way that licensing occurs at the university level makes it so that companies can monopolize the innovation that comes out of university research, and dictate market prices of medicines. This restricts global access to healthcare because it impedes financial accessibility; in many places, people would not be able to afford these market prices. UAEM McGill proposes this motion to push for a global access licensing framework for technology transfers to the private sector.

It should be noted that Sonia Larbi-Aissa, the Co-President of the UAEM McGill, is a former Daily editor.