Access to safe abortions is essential for healthcare and is a pivotal part of your reproductive rights.
While legal in Canada, abortions can be difficult to access for those that need them. A combination of geographic location, cost, social taboos and anti-choice voices all create obstacles in getting information and access to reproductive healthcare.
A famous research paper, called the Turnaway Study, followed people who had an abortion to see what the affects were five years after the procedure. The main finding: receiving an abortion does not harm the health and wellbeing of the individual. In fact, being denied an abortion results in worse financial, health and family outcomes.
The study also disproved many common claims about the negative effects on the individual’s health – they were no more likely to have depression, anxiety, or suicidal ideation. 95% of people reported that having the procedure done was the right decision for them.
In Canada, an estimated 1 in 3 people capable of pregnancy will have an abortion in their lifetime.
Abortion is likely the most divisive medical procedure.
Women, and those with a uterus, decide to proceed with an abortion for a multitude of reasons:
In the end, it doesn’t matter the reasoning. What is important, is that this is a deeply personal decision that only they can make.
Gestation, geography and medical history play a role
Medical abortions (sometimes called ‘self managed’) use two medications, to stop the pregnancy from continuing to develop and then trigger the uterus to empty, ending the pregnancy.
Surgical abortions are done by a trained medical professional in a clinical setting like a hospital or abortion clinic.
We’ve compiled a list of the most common questions about abortions to help you understand your options, what the treatments include and aftercare help.
There are several types of tests you can do to determine if you are pregnant
If you track your period, you’ll be able to count back from the last day of your last period to know how far along you are. You can also use this handy calculator to help.
If you don’t track your period, you may need a dating ultrasound to measure the size of the fetus to estimate how far along you are.
You can also find out gestational age based on the amount of hCG is in your body – this requires a blood test to confirm.
When you find yourself pregnant, there can be many mixed and powerful emotions.
There are several options available to you:
We can’t help you decide – we can only provide you with accurate information and a team of medical professionals who can provide you with support.
For medical abortions, Canadian healthcare professionals will prescribe the abortion pill up to 9 weeks gestation. Surgical abortions will provide you with more weeks to decide, but after 24 weeks it generally is extremely difficult to obtain an abortion unless there are serious complications.
At this point, we do not have the ability to prescribe the abortion pill to patients. We are working on providing this service in the very near future.
Medical abortions (sometimes called ‘self managed’) use two medications to stop the pregnancy from continuing to develop and then trigger the uterus to empty, ending the pregnancy. Generally you’ll take these pills at home and complete the procedure there. If you’re 9 weeks or earlier in your pregnancy, some prefer to take the medical abortion option as they can complete the procedure at home.
Surgical method is done by a trained medical professional in a clinical setting like a hospital or abortion clinic. Some prefer this method as it’s a shorter one day out-patient procedure under anesthesia.
Your options will depend on how far along you are, your medical history, and your preferences.
This website provides a simple way to search for your closest clinic – simply filter by your province or territory. Another great resource is Action Canada which provides more abortion information, STI/STD testing clinics, and IUD insertion clinics.